Predoctoral program in Pediatric Dentistry

pediatric patient

The mission of the University of Iowa Department of Pediatric Dentistry relevant to pre-doctoral dental education is to provide:

  1. Contemporary education in pediatric dentistry for our pre-doctoral students.
  2. Clinical experiences in dental treatment of children from birth to age 21 regardless of developmental/social/medical/dental circumstances.
  3. Opportunities for students to be exposed to pediatric dentistry activities in a community setting.

Goals: Provide pre-doctoral students with a contemporary education in the didactic and clinical foundations of the practice of dentistry for children via:

  1. Education in the knowledge and skills necessary to practice in a changing environment with didactic foundational information coupled with current clinical mentoring.
  2. Provide a learning environment that fosters an understanding and incentive for providing appropriate dental care for children.

Didactic Training in Pediatric Dentistry

The didactic component of the pre-doctoral program consists of the course entitled “Pediatric Dentistry Diagnosis and Treatment” which is taught in the second year and the “Pediatric Dentistry Clinical Seminar Series” which is taught during the third year clerkship. The first course provides basic foundational knowledge in Pediatric Dentistry. Seminars during the third year clerkship focus on clinical issues and techniques in Pediatric Dentistry, reinforcement of important didactic information presented in the second year course and case-based learning. Ms. Cathy Skotowski and Dr. Weber-Gasparoni serve as co-directors for the Sophomore course and Dr. Tad Mabry directs the clinical seminar series during the Junior clerkship.

Clinical Training in Pediatric Dentistry

During their third year of dental training, pre-doctoral students spend 5 weeks in each specialty department. There are approximately 10 students in each clerkship. The clerkship consists of both didactic and clinical components. Students provide clinical care to pediatric patients four and a half days each week. Dr. Tad Mabry serves as the director of the pre-doctoral clinic program in pediatric dentistry. Under his direction, approximately 4,000 patient treatment visits per year are conducted. Student experiences include emergency, initial and recall examinations, preventive dental services, restorations, space maintainers and extractions.

In addition to treatment provided in the pediatric dentistry clinic, students participate in a preventive dentistry program where students develop and implement a dental health presentation for an age specific group of children in the community. Students also observe or participate in treatment of special needs pediatric patients.

During the fourth year of dental training, pre-doctoral students provide care to young children in the Infant Oral Health Program at the WIC clinic in Iowa City. Fourth year dental students also travel to the Muscatine Clinic to provide dental treatment to children aged 0-12 from Louisa County.