"Dental medicine is a health service specifically concerned with the
establishment, maintenance, restoration, and improvement of the health, function, and
appearance of the oral cavity and its associated parts, in their interrelations with other
parts and with the individual as a whole.This includes the recognition of oral disease and of the oral signs of systemic disease; the prevention and treatment of oral diseases, injuries, malformations, and
deficiencies; the repair of teeth when damaged by accident or disease; and their replacement when lost.
The field of dental medicine is comparable with dermatology, laryngology,
ophthalmology, and otology; and its social importance and opportunities are at least as
great."( University of Pennsylvania School of dental Medicine Bulletin)
The modern dentist is, thus, trained to practice preventive dentistry, and the dental-school curriculum prepares the student to treat the many complicated and related diseases
of the body as they relate to the mouth. For this reason, dental schools expect
essentially the same premedical preparation as medical schools, and the predental student
should follow a program similar to the premedical program. The book Your Future in
Dentistry is available on loan from the Predental Advisor.
Some dental school catalogues may claim that a baccalaureate degree is not necessary
for admission, or that two or three years of undergraduate training are sufficient. Only
in very unusual circumstances, however, will dental schools accept candidates without the
degree. Hence, predental students are advised to complete their undergraduate work.
There is no prescribed curriculum for students in predental studies. Rather,
the student should select any major within the colleges at the University and
be sure to include the following course-sequence as well as those courses required for the major.