Master of Science in Geriatric Dentistry

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

This program is designed for both US and Internationally trained dentists who work full time in the clinical or academic environment. A unique and innovative opportunity for dentists who want to learn more on a wide variety of Geriatric dentistry issues.

The 37 month MS degree program has 16 courses (30.5 units of academic activity) with (90%) online learning and (10%) other educational activities located at the Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC.

The MS degree resident will take 2-3 courses most trimesters during the 3 years of the program. Most courses provide the residents a weekly streaming video lecture for viewing and a course manual. After each lecture the residents will log on and complete an associated quiz. The quizzes will be comprised of multiple choice, short answer or fill-in questions directly from the lecture and the course manual. There is a weekly video case conference which allows residents to present their assigned cases and discuss all the other cases presented by fellow residents.

All residents attend a summer session at the end of the year and this face-to-face program involves a comprehensive Knowledge Assessment process and practical training. At these summer sessions, the residents will be taking a set of Oral Exams, Essay Exams, MCQ tests and Practical Exams.

The residents prepare, present and defend a portfolio of their activities to document how they have satisfied the learning objectives of the program in person at the end of their program. Each resident’s portfolio must contain 18 cases which demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

The residents in the Master’s degree program create, present and defend their capstone research report in person at the end of their third year of training.

Program Goals and Objectives

Objective #1 – Geriatric Dentistry/Gerontology Learning Outcomes: To identify, interpret and summarize the aging process and its associated epidemiologic, sociologic, psychosocial factors and the impact of these conditions on oral health, various oral disease findings and subsequent therapies.

Objective #2 – Common Medical Conditions & Medications in Geriatric Patients Learning Outcomes: To understand and recognize common medical conditions including their etiologies and appropriately design a plan of action for their older adult patients who present with these conditions in a systematic fashion to achieve evidence-based treatment.

Objective #3 – Cross-Cutting Diagnostic/Pharmacologic based Learning Outcomes: To acquire, interpret and summarize all physical, psychological and historical data from their patients in a systematic fashion that considers signs, symptoms, diagnosis, monitoring and disease progression and analyze medication usage and its impact to achieve an evidence-based differential diagnosis.

Sample Topics

Common Systemic Conditions in Older Patients
Soft Tissue Diseases
Bony Pathology, Radiology and Advanced Imaging
Neurogenic Based Oral and Facial Pains
Research Methodologies in Dentistry
Systems Physiology, Motor disorders and Sleep Apnea
Internal Medicine and Systemic Diseases
Systems Physiology, Motor Disorders and Sleep Apnea
Epidemiology, Nutrition and Aging
Immunology and Immunosuppression
Infectious Disease, Oral Microbiology and Virology
Case Presentation Portfolio Course

Sample Courses

Fall Internal Medicine and Systemic Diseases for Dental Residents GDEN-722
Spring Neurogenic Based Oral and Facial Pains OFPM-705
Summer Soft Tissue Diseases for Dentists OFPM-702a

Instructional Services for Enrolled Students

Geriatric Dentistry Programs are delivered in most part online and therefore we have a full-time program manager and technology coordinator to provide training and assist residents with technical support. At least a full time faculty member is assigned to help the enrolled students for academic support and students can also contact directly to the program director. Enrolled students should be available to come to USC each summer for 10 days for Summer Program.