Community Dentistry (COMD)


COMD 5017. Oral Health Promotion & Disease Prevention For Individuals & Populations. 1.5 Credit Hour.

Oral diseases have been reported to influence overall health and well-being of individuals and communities in the USA and across the world. This course provides the DS1 student with the basis and application of evidence-based practices to prevent oral diseases and promote oral health among individual patients and groups living in communities. The first part of the course focuses on Oral Health by concentrating on dental public health principles and epidemiology. The course stresses determinants of oral health and methods to reduce disparities. It examines contemporary oral health promotion and oral disease prevention at the community level. The second part of the course describes the Prevention of Oral Diseases for the Individual Patient, using a systematic approach of risk-based prevention. The course reviews the methodology to assess risks for dental caries, periodontal diseases, and oral cancer at the individual level. Students will have the opportunity to learn to develop and apply plans of prevention for oral diseases based upon individual risks, accounting for biological, social, and behavioral factors. The course integrates patient education and counseling practices as a component of individualized prevention practice.

COMD 5031. Introduction To Professional Ethics. 0.5 Credit Hours.

This course will introduce students to ethics, how ethical principles apply to dentists, and the professional obligations inherent in the dentist-patient relationship. It will additionally provide insight in how the individual student views the dental profession and provide a decision-making model to help guide their actions when faced with ethical dilemmas.

COMD 5046. Cariology. 1 Credit Hour.

This course covers the scientific background of the etiology, treatment, and prevention of dental carries, as well as dental erosion. It offers an overview of the biological and mineralogical etiology of dental carries and dental erosion.

COMD 6025. Nutrition. 0.5 Credit Hours.

Elements of nutrition are presented in a lecture series. Special attention is given to those aspects of nutrition that relate to dental health and the prevention of dental diseases.

COMD 6048. Patient-Centered Oral Health Care: Behavioral, Social, & Cultural Dimensions. 1 Credit Hour.

This course discusses key dimensions of patient-centered clinical care recommended by the Institute of Medicine: a) respect for the patient's values, preferences, and expressed needs; b) information and education; c) access to care; d) emotional support to relieve fear and anxiety; e) involvement of family and friends; f) continuity and secure transition between health care settings; g) physical comfort; and h) coordination of care. This course focuses on caring for patients and understanding the contexts of their culture, family, and community. The course examines major health belief systems embraced by people from diverse cultures and explores the characteristics of health-illness beliefs and practices. Also, the course provides an overview of anxiety and fear in dentistry. Specifically, the course reviews the typical causes of dental fear, assessment of fear, and effective strategies for reducing fear and anxiety. Psychological approaches for working with patients with needle phobias, gagging, and panic are described in the course. The course emphasizes the development of competence of oral health professionals in instituting patient-centered and culturally relevant oral health care.

COMD 7031. Professional Ethics. 0.5 Credit Hours.

This course provides a deeper understanding of the role that ethics plays in dental practice through a series of small-group discussions focused on the resolution of ethical dilemmas. It also provides a more thorough appreciation of the ethical principles and theory of normative ethics, as well as an understanding of the importance of dental research ethics, the role of ethics in the "business" of dentistry, and dentist's role in addressing social justice issues.

COMD 7050. Preventive Dentistry Clinic. 1.5 Credit Hour.

As part of the junior clinic, this course is for the clinical application of prior study of Preventive & Community Dentistry, Preventive Methods, Nutrition, Cariology, Caries Risk Management, and Sophomore Clinic. With the emphasis on dental caries, it also includes prevention of gingivitis, oral cancer, and orofacial trauma. Students record preventive history, diagnosis and document caries, request appropriate lab and dietary assessments, carry out a caries activity (risk) assessment, write a preventive plan, and evaluate outcomes.

COMD 8014. Oral Health Care System. 1 Credit Hour.

A series of lectures and panel discussions introduce students to the structure as well as methods of financing dental care. Concepts of both traditional and recently evolved forms of dental practice also are discussed.

COMD 8032. Jurisprudence. 0.5 Credit Hours.

An in-depth review of the Texas Dental Practice Act and the Rules and Regulations of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners will be presented as preparation for the Dental Jurisprudence examination given by the Board. General review of the interface of the law and dental practice including dental torts, malpractice, partnerships, insurance, record keeping, and other related legal issues are presented.