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 and Wednesdays from 5:00-7:00 p.m. (see course descriptions below for session details).  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 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 for D4 students also make certain that multiple elective courses do not have overlapping session dates.

Please use this link to register for the electives: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9ZGTWMY 

Questions may be directed to:

Mrs. Ellen Seed


Offerings for SPRING 2024


DNTS 548:  Aesthetic Dentistry, an Inter-Disciplinary Approach

Instructor:  Dr. David Mazza

Credits: 0.5

Course capacity: 40

Dates:  Wednesday, 1/10 (G307), 1/24 (G307), 2/7 (G307) from 5-7 pm and 2/21 (G310) from 5-6 pm with a hands-on lab session on 2/21 from 6-7 pm in lab C

Course Description:  Lectures on: 

  • 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.


Mindfully Navigating Conflict Resolution in the Practice of Dentistry 

Instructor:  Dr. Douglas Drewyer 

Credits:  0.5

Course Capacity:  16

Dates: All sessions will take place from 5-7 pm in room 9105 on Monday 1/22, 1/29, 2/5 and 3/18.   

Course Description: Please join me for a conversational course where we address Conflict Resolution through the power of being present without judgement, strengthened through behavioral practices allowing clarification of our mutual feelings and needs.  Effectively learn to develop ways to make life more ONE-DERFUL for all our partnerships, personally and professionally.  Learn how to make requests that transform “Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Now what?” to a more peaceful, mutually rewarding co-existence. 

Grading Requirements: Grading is pass/fail, based on attendance (100% is expected).  Specific Criteria: Some written assignments to develop our skills and enrich our classroom exchanges. 


DNTS 548:  Clear Aligners for General Practitioners

This elective has a prerequisite of passing ORTH 538.  This elective is only available for D4 students.

Instructor(s):  Dr. Flavio Copello

Credits:  0.5

Course Capacity:  40 students (D4 students only)

Dates: Monday, 1/22, Wednesday, 1/24, Monday, 1/29, Wednesday, 1/31.  All sessions will take place in room G310 from 5-7 pm. PLEASE NOTE – For the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sessions, students are required to bring their personal laptops. 

Course Description: The course will consist of five lectures on clear aligners to general dentists.  The main objective of the course is to describe how these devices work, how they should be planned and what type of patients the general practitioner should select to treat.  Topics such as concepts of orthodontic aligners, basic fundamentals of biomechanics with aligners, digital workflow, laboratory and clinical procedures, and a specific class on case selection will be addressed.  

Grading Requirements: Attendance to all session of this elective is required for a passing grade.  The course director may have additional specific requirements that need to be met. 


DNTS 548:  Overview of Clinical Anesthesia and Sedation  

Instructor:  Dr. Marvin Leventer 

Credits:  0.5

Course Capacity:  25

Dates: All sessions take place from 5-7 pm in room G305 on Wednesday, 2/7 and 2/14. 

Course Description: Overview of clinical anesthesia for dentistry.  Covered topics include oral sedation, IV sedation, and inpatient and outpatient general anesthesia, and will include pharmacology and practical applications.  Some reading may be assigned. 

Grading Requirements:   Attendance to all sessions of the elective is required for a passing grade along with any additional reading or other assignments as designated by the course presenter. 


DNTS 548 – Advanced Topics in Special Care Dentistry

Instructor(s): Dr. Sydnee Chavis

Credits: 0.5

Course Capacity20 students

Dates: Wednesday, 2/14 (G307), 2/21 (G305), 2/28 (G305), 3/20 (G305), 3/27 (G305) and 4/3 (G305).  All sessions will take place from 5-7 pm. 

Course Description: Patients with special health care needs and medical complexities, especially adult patients, face significant disparities in access to dental care and oral healthcare outcomes compared to the general population.  This course will take a deeper dive into considerations for care of adults with special healthcare needs and explore methods of patient management and treatment.  It will also review topics such as obtaining and presenting a medical history, collaborating with physicians and other members of the healthcare team, communicating with patients and their families with clarity and empathy and triaging and making appropriate patient referrals for comprehensive care.  This course will support students’ abilities, skills and comfort in managing and treating patients with special needs, as well as understanding medical contexts of dental care, and collaborations with the medical team to support patient care. 

Students will have the option to participate in up to 4 clinic sessions as part of this elective course, with the goal of following a patient with special needs that modifies their dental treatment throughout the semester.  There will be a goal of participating in at least 2 optional clinic sessions in the Special Care and Geriatrics Clinic during the course of the semester. 

Note: This course will be recommended especially for D3 students who are interested in the Special Care and Geriatrics Clerkship.

Grading Requirements: Grading will be based on student attendance, participation and completion of a presentation to the faculty and class in a pass/fail manner.  Students will not meet the passing requirement if they do not actively participate, do not present to their peers and faculty within the elective, or if they miss more than one lecture unexcused. 


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

Instructor:  Dr. David Mazza

Credits:  0.5

Course Capacity: 40

Dates: Wednesday, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3 from 5-7 pm and 4/17 from 5-6 pm in room G310 with a hands-on lab on 4/17 from 6-7 pm in lab C.

Course Description: 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:  Biomimetic Approach to Direct Composite Posterior Restoration

 Instructor(s):  Dr. Guilherme Arossi assisted by:  Drs. Alania, Garcia and Orta

 Credits:  0.5

Capacity:  30 students

Dates: Monday, 3/25 (G310), 4/1 Lab C, 4/8 Lab C, 4/15 (G310), 4/22 Lab C, and 4/24 Lab C.  All sessions are from 5-7 pm. 

Course Description: A biomimetic approach to a director composite restoration in posterior teeth aims to develop competence in treating tooth caries or existing restorations.  It involves understanding selective dentin caries removal endpoints and the concept of peripheral seal zone concepts in cavity preparation.  The student will learn how to achieve proper enamel margin finishing and adapt cavity design based on biomechanical analysis.  Additionally, this course will reinforce the importance of rubber dam isolation, matrix placement and ring installation.  The course will also cover the use of gold-standard adhesive bonding systems, introducing the concepts of hierarchy of bondability and decoupling with time to guide composite placement.  Achieving occlusal anatomy, proper contact points, and proximal emergence profiles will be emphasized through a histomorphological approach, and composite selection will be based on its mechanical properties.  The course will also address C-factor and V-factor control through modern photocuring protocols to ensure stress-reduced composite restorations.  Instruction on multistep finishing and polishing procedures, including occlusal adjustments will ensure long-lasting and efficient composite restorations. 

Grading Requirements: Attendance to all session of this elective is required for a passing grade.  The course director may have additional specific requirements that need to be met. 


DNTS 548 – Future Academic Clinician-Educators (FACE 2)

Please note that this elective has a pre-requisite requirement of participating in FACE 1.  This listing is for informational purposes only.  Students have already been chosen for this elective.

Instructor(s): Dr. Sarah Rollor and Dr. Nisha Ganesh

Credits: 0.5 per semester – two semester commitment

Course Capacity:  5 students

Course Description: The FACE 2 elective is a continuation of FACE 1 and will span over the course of two semesters.  Total credits for this elective is 1.0. 

Session information: This elective is a hands-on educational research project that will allow students to focus and reflect on a specific area and how potential changes in our curriculum may impact the future in Academia. 

The primary objective of this course is to provide exposure and insight to careers in Academic Dentistry.  The elective will primarily focus on:

  1. Students each will be assigned a mentor
    1. Meet once a month
    2. Develop a research project
  2. Students are to prepare a portfolio that includes the work they have prepared over the course of the year
    1. Faculty interviews
    2. Conceptualize →procedure→ analysis
    3. Literature reviews
    4. Gathering, analyzing and reporting quantitative/qualitative data
    5. Two reflective essays
  3. Three students will be selected to represent the University of Maryland School of Dentistry at the ADEA Annual Session.
  4. Poster presentation of their research at ADCFP fellows 

Grading Requirements: Attendance to all sessions with assigned mentor is the minimum requirement for a passing grade. The course director may have additional requirements.