The curriculum is highly structured and rigorous; the first-year curriculum includes didactic courses and 240 hours of hands-on training in pre-clinical settings including inlays, onlays, porcelain veneers, ceramic restorations, and conservative cast gold restorations. The emphasis of the second-year curriculum is for trainees to treat patients at the UCLA Venice Dental Center, and to receive teaching experience by working with clinical faculty while observing and assisting other providers for comprehensive patient care.
The goal of this non-CODA-accredited program is to educate trainees the knowledge and skills equivalent to a two-year Operative Dentistry or Restorative Dentistry Program, and to become competent candidates for DDS/DMD or Post-doc accredited programs in USA. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the two-year program.
Year 1: Core Knowledge and Skills Development
At the start of the program in early July, trainees immediately begin didactic courses and laboratory sessions in Operative Dentistry, Fixed Prosthodontics, Esthetic Dentistry, and Restorative Implant Dentistry.
The majority of the first-year curriculum will be dedicated to technical skills development through a series of Skill Courses, which involve the completion of 100 preparation and restoration procedures in the UCLA Simulation Laboratory under the mentorship of restorative faculty members. Trainees will learn to become proficient in the following restorative procedures: direct restorations, gold inlays and onlays, 3/4 and 7/8 gold crowns, ceramic inlays and onlays, all ceramic crown and bridge, anterior and posterior porcelain veneers, CAD/CAM restorations, and others.
During the last two-quarters of the first-year curriculum, trainees begin clinical preparatory courses in the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center. Here, the specialists will provide training in practice management, material sciences, digital radiology interpretation, treatment planning, dental anesthesia and nitrous sedation, fundamentals of dental implant surgery, implant hands-on lab training, and others. This will ensure that trainees are prepared to provide direct patient care in the second-year curriculum.
Year 2: Excellence in Clinical Dentistry
The emphasis of the second year of the curriculum is direct patient care. Trainees will participate as dental providers to treat patients under the guidance of clinical faculty in UCLA Restorative Dentistry at the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center. Through comprehensive treatment planning, trainees provide patient care through the following: caries management by risk assessment, phase one periodontal procedures and minor periodontal surgery, diagnosis of pulpal disease, direct and indirect restorations, fixed dental prostheses, bonded ceramics, anterior and posterior veneers, CAD/CAM scanning, design, milling of lithium disilicate, and zirconia implant restorations. We evaluate the trainees’ progress and competency quarterly, and all the clinical requirements must be satisfied by the end of the second year.
Literature review and case presentation sessions are held during the year. Trainees may also have opportunities to be engaged in ongoing research projects in the Restorative Section of UCLA School of Dentistry in the Westwood campus.
Another area of focus during the second year is the development of teaching skills. Trainees will be assigned a teaching rotation in the Skill Courses at UCLA’s Westwood campus. Those trainees who express additional interest in teaching will be given opportunities to assist in teaching junior and senior dental students alongside faculty members.
At the end of the two-year program, trainees will obtain the knowledge and skills equivalent to a two-year Operative Dentistry or Restorative Dentistry Program in the United States. A UCLA Certificate for Advanced Clinical Training Program is awarded upon successful completion of the two-year program.