New Online Course Focuses on Dentistry Profession3 min read

April 26, 2019

New Online Course Focuses on Dentistry Profession3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., April 26, 2019 — Two School of Dentistry faculty recently created a new, entirely-online course to introduce the many facets of the dentistry profession.  Designed as both an overview of dentistry and a primer on the steps and requirements to apply to dental school, the four-week Dentistry 101 course features several U-M dental faculty sharing insights and advances in the field.

Dr. Russell Taichman, Associate Dean for Research and the Major Ash Collegiate Professor, and Dr. Rogerio Castilho, Associate Professor, developed the course based on a previous on-campus overview that was part of an undergraduate program for students exploring health science careers. The course was popular but offered only periodically.

“The opportunity to share an overview and personal insights on the profession with a broader audience was a key driver for us in developing this course,” Castilho said.

The Office of Academic Innovation, the U-M group on campus that designs, produces and delivers online learning content, produced Dentistry 101 as part of Michigan Online, its broad online learning catalog for the entire university. Academic Innovation partners with Coursera and other online learning platforms to host and administrate courses for worldwide availability.

“We were fortunate to work with a highly-skilled local team with all the infrastructure and expertise to bring the project to life,” Taichman said.

Dentistry 101 is a guided learning experience for students interested in exploring the dental profession or applying to dental school. Using a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) format that has become a standard for online learners, the course presents short lectures and interviews provided by a diverse panel of dental specialists.  Additional content is offered to supplement the lectures and quizzes after each section reinforce key points.

Taichman and Castilho highlight new technological advances in dentistry while sharing the experience of what it’s like to be a practitioner of oral health and the impact it can have on patients.

“In addition to the basics on the field, we wanted to share how rewarding it can be to be a dentist,” Castilho said. “Also, with new advances, there has never been a better time to enter the field.”

The course can be audited for free or for $49, a certificate of completion is available. More information is available on the Coursera website here.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at dentistry.communications@umich.edu, or (734) 615-1971.