Penn Dental to Present Introduction to Dental Medicine MOOC

Philadelphia, USA – The mouth is the window into human health and through Penn Dental Medicine’s upcoming MOOC (massive open online course), Introduction to Dental Medicine, participants will be able to understand more fully the ways in which the oral cavity functions and what effect that has on the rest of the body. The course is scheduled to run from May 2 to June 26 through Penn’s Online Learning Initiative and its partner, Coursera. The widely popular course debuted last June, attracting 8,656 enrolments and 5,742 active learners worldwide and putting it among the top performers among Penn’s Coursera courses for engaging active learners.

The course covers a full range of topics in dental medicine, starting from basic concepts and proceeding to review trends in current research and technology. For this upcoming session, the course content has been enhanced with four new topics – fluoridation, a typical visit to the dentist, local anaesthesia, and the oral implications of disease. These new areas are supplementing the full content of the original course.

Along with those individuals contemplating a career in dentistry, a key target audience for the course is health care professionals working in fields outside dental medicine. “By taking this course, our hope was that other health care professionals will be able to better integrate dental health with the overall health of their patients,” says Dr. Uri Hangorsky, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student, who developed and taught the course with Dr. Thomas Sollecito, Professor and Chair of Oral Medicine, and Dr. Eric Stoopler, Associate Professor of Oral Medicine.

One key goal of the course is to break down misconceptions about the field of dental medicine and begin to paint a more complete picture of its integral role in overall health.

“Dentistry is much more encompassing than most people believe,” Dr. Hangorsky says. “It’s not just drilling, filling and doing six-month check-ups. It’s much more complex. In this course, we will focus on the relationship between oral health and systemic health; this is what modern dentistry is all about.”

The online course is free, though individuals wanting to receive official certificates verifying course completion will be charged a fee. To register for the course and for additional information, visit the course site. Enrolment ends May 7. – Penn Dental Medicine