UAB School of Dentistry
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|Dean||Michael Reddy, DMD, DMSc.|
|Location||Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
The UAB School of Dentistry is the dental school of the University of Alabama System. It is a public dental school located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. The dental school was founded in 1948 and is the only dental school in Alabama.
The UAB School of Dentistry, a unit of the Medical Center of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was created by an act of the state legislature in 1945, the same year that the School of Medicine moved to Birmingham from the university campus in Tuscaloosa and became a four-year school. The School of Dentistry admitted its first class of students in October 1948. Since that time it has gained a national reputation for excellence and innovation. In addition to its first professional degree (D.M.D.) program, the school offers accredited postdoctoral programs in twelve areas of study. The development of "four-handed dentistry" and the expanded utilization of trained auxiliary personnel were pioneered at this institution. From 2012 through 2015 the School was ranked first in research funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Students at the UAB School of Dentistry pursue their professional education utilizing modern equipment in recently renovated facilities. The renovations include all new state-of-the-art lecture rooms, new patient receiving and business areas, dental chairs and delivery systems, a new lobby and front entrance and preclinical laboratory. The clinical facilities of the School of Dentistry Building contain more than 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) of clinical teaching space. Teaching of the basic biomedical sciences is accomplished in Volker Hall. This multipurpose complex houses five lecture halls ranging in size from 125 to 700 seats and utilizes innovative audiovisual equipment and teaching aids, as well as wet and dry laboratories.
Library facilities include the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences and the Hammonds Reading Room. The Lister Hill Library is located immediately adjacent to the basic science facility (Volker Hall) and offers a full range of comfortable accommodations for reading and study. The library collection now contains more than 255,000 volumes and includes subscriptions to the world's leading biomedical journals, with some 2,800 titles currently available. The library offers many computerized services. The computerized integrated catalog, DYNIX, and the full MEDLINE service are available from home or office by telephone. A microcomputer lab is available for student and faculty use. Other services include interlibrary loans, photocopying, information and instructional services, and search capabilities to a large number of on-line and compact disc databases.
First Professional Degree (D.M.D.) Program
In the current first professional or D.M.D. curriculum, the basic sciences are presented in a systems-based approach during the first year and a half. In an attempt to bridge the gap between preclinical courses and actual clinical experience, a program referred to as the PCD (Preclinical Dentistry) Program has evolved. In this phase of the curriculum, teams of instructors are responsible for teaching each of the preclinical technique courses, such as dental anatomy, operative, fixed prosthodontics, removable prosthodontics, and endodontics.
The clinical sciences are presented through a series of courses offered by the clinical dentistry departments throughout the four-year curriculum. Students are introduced to clinical practice on a limited basis during the first year through clinical sessions concerned with screening for oral diseases, preventive techniques, and prophylaxis. A multidisciplinary patient management core course is offered during the second year, enabling the student to gain skills in data collection and analysis, diagnosis, treatment planning, and therapeutic modalities through lecture presentations and patient care.
The third and fourth years are devoted in large measure to the rendering of dental care for patients who present to the school clinics for emergency care, diagnosis, and treatment. This takes place in a variety of clinics within the school, as well as in extramural rotations. With the exception of special clinical assignments, a major portion of the clinical experience in the third and fourth years is based on the philosophy of comprehensive patient care. A comprehensive care patient is defined as one whose appropriate management involves more than one discipline in terms of diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment.
Also presented in the third and fourth years are programs in physical diagnosis and medicine and in life support (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). The program in physical diagnosis and medicine is designed to provide the student with the ability to acquire an adequate medical history from, and to perform a relatively complete physical examination of, patients under his or her care. The didactic segment and a portion of the clinical segment of the program are presented in the latter part of the second year; the remainder of the clinical segment is presented in the third and fourth years.
Finally, fourth-year students are given the opportunity to observe delivery of dental health care by means of a series of visits to the offices of practicing dentists in the state.