“Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses
the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the
supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their
substitutes” (American Academy of Periodontology).
The predoctoral (dental student) program in Periodontology at Ohio
State has many educational facets, including didactic courses,
clinical experiences, surgical assists, board reviews, competency
exams, a periodontal rotation and an elective course.
Clinical students work closely with periodontal
faculty, especially in their third year. An emphasis is placed on
accurate measurements, periodontal diagnosis, and treatment
Lecture Course: The didactic courses introduce students to:
- periodontal anatomy
- periodontal examination
- periodontal pathology
- periodontal diagnosis
- evidence-based periodontal treatment
- periodontal surgery
- Students gain clinical experiences by working with periodontal
faculty, postdoctoral and dental hygienists.
- Students are exposed to an interdisciplinary approach to dental
treatment when they see patients in the comprehensive care clinic
and in the graduate (postdoctoral) periodontal clinic
- The philosophy for clinical requirements is to place an emphasis
on periodontal evaluation, diagnosis and re-evaluation because
general dentists frequently must make crucial decisions on referring
patients to periodontal specialists (periodontists)
- Dental students are also required to assist during periodontal
surgery, which provides first hand experiences on the specialty of periodontics.
- Near the end of their third year, students must complete a
manikin-based competency exam on periodontal measurements and
- During their fourth year, there is patient based competency exam
on periodontal examination, a mock regional clinical board exam and
a comprehensive written exam, which prepare them for the periodontal
portions of clinical and National Board Exams. Students are also
given board review sessions.
- In their fourth year, students also attend a periodontal rotation
• emphasis on periodontal topics relevant to
• Students also attend a postdoctoral student
Periodontal Surgery Elective
- A periodontal surgery elective for interested 4th year dental
students is offered on a competitive basis.
- The course includes:
• seminars on periodontal surgical procedures
• a laboratory exercise allows
- participating students may perform certain surgical procedures on
The periodontal surgical elective includes a
laboratory session where students are exposed to several procedures.
The multidimensional nature of the periodontal curriculum prepares
students well for both clinical board exams and the National Board
Examinations, where they have consistently performed well.