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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Wendy Elyse Mouradian
CONJ 516
Seattle Campus

What Every Physician Should Know About Oral Health

Didactic elective for students interested in understanding oral health and its relationship to systemic health. Special interest to students planning careers in primary care, public health, or who are likely to practice in rural or underserved communities. Includes weekly seminars and clinical demonstrations. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: Sp.

Class description

Did you know that cavities are catching? Did you know that gum disease can aggravate diabetes?

Oral health is increasingly recognized as a key ingredient in overall health. Regardless of speicalty, oral health should be part of the medical treatment plan. Oral health is an element in prenatal care and in the prevention of cavities (caries); the most common infectious disease of childhood. It is critical for patients with cancer, and for all patients with special needs - from babies with birth defects to adults with complex medication regimens. Knowing what to look for and what to do can make a difference in patient outcome.

In this course students will learn about normal growth and development, oral and systemic diseases, populations with special needs and dental trauma. Students will learn about how to apply flouride varnishes, conduct an oral exam and work in an interdisciplinary setting. Students will also learn about oral health issues facing developing nations and the public health aspects of oral care.

Student learning goals

1. Students will learn how to identify patient popultions at risk for oral disease, barriers to access and utilization of dental services, and the roles that physicians and other health care providers have in identification and prevention of oral disease.

2. Students will learn to identify risk factors for periodontal disease, screen for disease and refer to dentists; counsel patients about systemic impact of oral disease and list several common medical coditions that have oral signs and symptoms. Furthermore, students will be able to describe the impact of medical therapies including cancer treatment, anticonvulsants and immune suppressants on oral health. Students will also be able to discuss the management of simply injuries, complications fro dental infuries and/or infections and triage criteria for immediate care.

3. Students will learn how to preforam a systemic oral screening exam, identify mixed denttion in children, describe normal eruption patterns, common oral and dental anomalies and apply flouride varnishes.

4. Students will be able to describe how children's oral health is impacted by health habits, counsel mothers about caries process and prevention including diet and oral hygiene.

5. Students will be able to describe trends in oral cancer epidemiology, list behavioral risk factors, recognize the clinical signs and symptoms of oral cancer, and describe the medical treatments associated with oral cancer.

6. Students will be ablt to describe why individuals with special needs are at an increase risk for oral health problems, list the barriers to care and describe a team approach to treatment.

General method of instruction

The class will cosist of a series of lectures and disucssions presented by physicians and dentists who are experts in the field. Lab sessions will also be held during class time to teach the oral exam and application of flouride varnishes.

Recommended preparation

This course is for medical students only. Students in other majors may be admitted with permission of the instructor.

Class assignments and grading

Credit/No Credit is awarded on the basis of attendance. Students must be present 8 out of 9 sessions to be awarded credit.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Wendy Elyse Mouradian
Date: 03/14/2008