The Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree program is a four year program that educates and trains individuals as dentists who have not only the fundamental knowledge of the profession, but also the qualities and characteristics required of dentists as leaders of dental teams and members of community health teams.
Approximately 295 students are currently enrolled in the College of Dental Medicine’s four-year program leading to a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree. Before receiving their degrees, dental students must be able to recognize and assess disease as it affects the oral cavity and to appreciate the systemic effects of oral disease, to understand the effects of systemic and local therapy on oral health, and to treat or refer for treatment not only the disease but the patient as a whole. A dentist must be capable of preventing oral disease and maintaining and restoring oral health. A dentist must also be aware of his or her professional limitations, be motivated to seek the patient’s best interests, and have the self-confidence to ask others to participate in the treatment of patients.
Throughout their professional lives, dentists must add to their knowledge by evaluating their own observations and those of others, this ability having been engendered by a critical approach to learning and cultural competence.