senior electivesPredoctoral Electives – Special Topics Courses

Third- and fourth-year dental students are provided the opportunity to register for elective courses which cover a wide range of topics. Electives are offered during the fall and spring terms. Courses are held on Mondays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Each elective course consists of an 8-hour commitment for 0.50 credits or a 15-hour commitment for 1.00 credit. Please read the course descriptions below which include the time commitment and number of credits.

Policies & Eligibility

Third-year dental students may register for no more than one (1) elective per term. This limitation is inclusive of the third-year Pediatric Dentistry elective course (PEDS 539) and the third-year Research with Mentor course (ODSC 599).

Fourth-year dental students may register for no more than two (2) electives per term, which is exclusive of any clerkship course or the Research with Mentor course (ODSC 599).

Any student wishing to enroll in an elective course must be in good academic standing.


All elective courses are graded as pass/fail. Instructors may assign exercises and assessments at their discretion; however, at minimum, attendance is required at all course meetings dates in order to achieve a passing grade. Please see course descriptions for additional grading criteria.

Students who do not request to have an elective course dropped from their schedule prior to the first meeting date will receive a “W” on their transcript to indicate withdrawal from the course.

Upon successful completion of the elective course(s), credit will be given under the special topics course, DNTS 548, and it will appear on your official transcript.


When choosing your elective(s), please carefully check your schedule to ensure you are available to attend all sessions, and also make certain that multiple elective courses do not overlap.

Please use this link to register for the electives: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y3ZH6Q8


Questions may be directed to:

Mrs. Ellen Seed



Spring 2019 Offerings


­­­­DNTS 548: Mindfulness Conflict Resolution (Part II of the Mindfulness Series)


Instructor(s): Dr. Douglas Drewyer

Credits: 0.5

Capacity:  16 students


Dates:  Monday, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22 4:30-6:30 p.m. in room 9105


Sessions are devoted to the essence of conflict resolution as we go beyond who is right, who wins, to a place of improving circumstances for all involved.  The “Powerful Practices” embraced in the Part I elective “A Mindfulness Approach to Clinical Excellence” will be expanded to include practical applications to our personal and professional relations and problem solving/conflict resolution. 


The “Practices” from “Part I” (A Mindfulness Approach to Clinical Excellence) were explored within the context of that course, making “Part II” (Mindful Conflict Resolution) a natural follow up.  Although Part I is a good pre-requisite for Part II, as Part II was created as a gift to the D3 students who asked for more now that they are seniors, new students can elect to take Part II alone.  I’d like to think it would be more powerfully received following Part I, though.


The “Practices” taken on through the intervening weeks of Part I are as follows.  The students are reminded that practice is ongoing, continuous, with opportunities to practice every day in the interest of developing an awareness of themselves and their surroundings, to enhance their communication and planning skills and reduce the unnecessary suffering in their partnerships and all who come under their care.  Effectively, this points to sustaining clinical excellence. 


Each day, exercise one skill in one opportunity, and reflect:


  • Perturb the ordinary
  • Permission to be a beginner
  • Identifying personal values


Practice -   Are you awake?            Can you let go?             When?

Getting to:            Yes                                 Yes                       Now


Pick one person and experience them anew

  • When making a decision, consider whether it will serve the seven generations
  • When did you recognize: Expectations lead to unnecessary suffering
  • Create a bigger circle, a circle (story) big enough to live in (expand the possibilities)
  • Thoughtfulness –expand your range of ways to show acknowledgement, thoughtfulness, extraordinarily creative ways of giving, create a future not the same as the past


Grading Requirements: Grading is pass/fail, based on attendance (100% is expected).  Specific Criteria: each session will include a one page written assignment exploring the distinctions shared during that class.  Credit will only be complete when a course evaluation is submitted to Dr. Drewyer.



DNTS 548:  Esthetic Dentistry, an Inter-Disciplinary Approach


Instructor:  Dr. David Mazza

Credits: .50

Seating capacity: 25


Dates:  Wednesday, 1/2, 1/9, 3/13 and 3/27 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in room G313 with a hands-on lab session on 3/27 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in lab C


  • Anatomy of an esthetic smile
  • How to personalize smiles
  • Tooth whitening protocol
  • Gingival esthetic principles
  • Diastemas closure, achieving natural looking results
  • Composite laminate veneers
  • Porcelain laminate veneers
  • Principles of color in dentistry, shade selection and matching protocol
  • Troubleshooting common problems with esthetic dentistry
  • Reviewing several clinical cases and walking the students through actual cases from start to finish
  • One hour “hands-on” instruction


Grading Requirements:  Attendance to all sessions of the elective and completion of the handout after every session.



DNTS 548:  Dental Implants: Diagnosis, Treatment Planning with Clinical Cases


Instructor:  Dr. David Mazza

Credits: .50

Seating capacity: 25


Dates:  Wednesday, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17 and 4/24 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in room G313 with a hands-on lab on 4/24 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.


This course is designed to familiarize the dental student with principles of implant treatments, treatment planning and review of actual clinical cases from start to finish. 


Discussion Items:


  • Introduction to implants and is biological considerations.
  • Treatment planning of implant cases utilizing CT scan, Simplant software
  • Case selection (medical, masticatory musculature dynamics), prosthetic work-ups for implant cases
  • Single unit implant, implant bridges and full arch, full mouth reconstruction plus implant supported over-denture protocols
  • Implant protected occlusion
  • Progressive load of dental implants
  • Troubleshooting of common dental implant problems
  • Reviewing several clinical cases and discussion of actual cases from start to finish


Grading Requirements:  Attendance to all sessions of the elective and completion of the handout after every session.



DNTS 548:  Professional Life Management


Instructor:  Dr. Howard Freundlich

Credits: 1.0

Seating capacity: 40


Dates:  Wednesday, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/27, 3/6 and 3/13 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in room G205.


Course Description:  This course will include topics of decision making of post-dental school life and will provide a solid base from which the students can start to make choices they will encounter and be effected by for the rest of their life.  The initial subjects will address the practice/post-graduate education options available to new graduates and how to help make the selection that is best suited for them.  We will inform about the value of assembling a team of professionals (accountant, attorney, financial planner, practice consultant, insurance advisor, etc.) to advise and support you.  We will approach working in or starting your own practice, how it runs, and how to be a business person.  The day-to-day operating systems of a practice will be discussed.  The different types of dental delivery models/systems will be put into focus.  Dental insurances, business insurances and the need for personal insurances will be explained.  Finally, an overview of future growth, other endeavors and exit strategies will be broached.


Grading Requirements:  Attendance to all sessions of the elective.