The Biomaterials Department is responsible for all biomaterials education in the predoctoral curriculum as well as appropriate contributions to the postgraduate programs. In the predoctoral program, this involves the use of an integrated curriculum, where biomaterials curriculum is taught at appropriate times within the first through third years of the program as part of several courses. Biomaterials curriculum is also contributed to appropriate area in the postgraduate programs. This educational component is enhanced by departmental research, which serves to keep the biomaterials education current. The department’s research role is enhanced by the MS Degree Program in Biomaterials Science. This provides the opportunity for dental and postgraduate students to work on a broad range of research projects in collaboration with MS faculty and graduate students with a wide range of clinical, materials science, and bioengineering backgrounds. The student educational experience is also strengthened by interaction with visiting scholars from other research institutions from around the world.
The Department of Biomaterials contributes to the undergraduate dental educational program with lectures and laboratory exercises that are integrated into freshman and sophomore General Dentistry Simulation Programs to provide timely presentation of biomaterials course content.
These first two years programs are then enhanced by presentations integrated into the junior-year program covering the latest research findings and the translation of these into new clinical techniques and restorative and reconstructive philosophies. This requires close coordination with the other clinical departments of the Division of Reconstructive and Comprehensive Care and with the Division of Diagnostics, Infectious Disease, and Health Promotion.
Contribution to the postgraduate curriculum comprises biomaterials-related components in courses such as Clinical Applications of Advances in Wound Healing, and the Prosthodontics Advanced Biomaterials Course. Success of clinical dentistry depends ultimately on the performance of the materials used. The correct selection and utilization of dental materials is based on thorough understanding of their structures and properties. These courses are designed to work in two directions: down into the fundamental properties of dental materials, and upward into the advanced clinical applications of new ideas and materials.