The Department of Operative Dentistry has been among the first in the nation to incorporate caries risk assessment and management, selective caries removal, dentin bonding, and resin-based composite technology, such as anterior and posterior esthetic restorations, and bonded cast appliances into its pre- and post-doctoral curriculum.

The Department is responsible for 6 pre-doctoral courses (240 students) during the first 3 years of the dental curriculum including: dental anatomy, operative and esthetic dentistry consisting of clinical simulation and clinical components.  We are one of the only dental schools that provides second year students the opportunity to treat patients in need of minor operative procedures. 

The Department offers an Advanced Education Program (3 students per year) in Operative Dentistry.   The program consists of 36 months, leading to a Master’s of Oral Science degree and a Certificate in Operative Dentistry.

Our overall educational goals are to:

  • provide preclinical and clinical education in risk-based diagnosis, prevention, remineralization, and minimally-invasive treatment of caries and hard tissue lesions.
  • develop students’ knowledge of Operative and esthetic dentistry and the basic psychomotor development necessary to provide these services to patients.
  • prepare students for written national board exams and clinical board exams in the area of Operative Dentistry.
  • participate in well managed patient care that is coordinated with other departments, including development of comprehensive treatment plans.
  • stay up-to-date on teaching methodology and developments within the dental profession with regard to procedures and technology, aiming to continuously improve teaching and dental treatment by the department.
  • provide research mentoring opportunities in the pre-doc and advanced education levels.
  • provide didactic and clinical training for future operative dentistry educators (Advanced Education Program).
  • provide experience in all areas of operative dentistry, including minimally invasive and esthetic dentistry procedures.
  • provide research-based career development training to postdoctoral students.
  • provide continuing education programs at the College of Dentistry, in the State of Iowa, and nationally/internationally.