Getulio Nogueira

Getulio Nogueice COURSE: DEN215H – Introduction to Preventive Dentistry
Preventive Dentistry
Getulio Nogueira
Getulio Nogueira


Overall Focus: This undergrad course for second year dental students was designed in a lecture-seminar format to develop understanding of comprehensive preventive dentistry focused on the prevention of infectious (biofilm-related) oral diseases i.e. dental caries, periodontal diseases and peri-implant diseases.

New paradigm: Preventive Dentistry aims to maintain and improve the oral health status of patients by keeping an optimal balance between health and risk of disease throughout life. The typical image of preventive dentistry has been linked to the prevention of dental caries only. However, from the perspective of systemic health, dental caries represents just part of oral health prevention.

The new Preventive Dentistry paradigm is intended to integrate with dental specialties in primary prevention (to keep healthy and to prevent initiation of disease), secondary prevention (to prevent disease from worsening) and tertiary prevention (to restore the original oral functions lost by disease damage). Thus, the main goal is to leave behind the unilateral dental caries teaching and to adopt a new philosophy of preventive dentistry by identifying the preventive aspects of biofilm-related oral diseases and the use of preventive oral products.

Intended Outcomes: By completing this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the concept of comprehensive prevention in dentistry.
  2. Describe the etiology of the major oral infections (i.e. dental caries, periodontal diseases and peri-implant diseases).
  3. Identify the risk populations for infectious oral diseases on an individual and community basis.
  4. Interpret risk assessment tools for infectious oral diseases.
  5. Classify the preventive oral products available for home and professional use by patients.
  6. Determine the rational use of preventive products in dentistry.
  7. Integrate the role of the dentist in the realms of comprehensive preventive dentistry.
Course Format
Teaching Activity Total Hours Time per session Enrolment
Lectures (13 hours) 1h (1:80)
Seminars (8 hours) 2h (1:20)


Since September 2011 I have served as course director for DEN 215H ‘Introduction to Preventive Dentistry’. It is an undergraduate (DDS2) course that was taught for many years in a form that was focused solely on the prevention of dental caries. The Preventive Dentistry Discipline runs from 1st to 4th year in the dental curriculum.However, as discussed below, I have been developing a new concept relating to the topic of Preventive Dentistry that I believe will lead to a new paradigm in the teaching and practice within this field. I am in the active stages of creating this new course redesigned to support my thinking about the preventive dentistry discipline as a whole.

YOUR DESIGN SOLUTIONS: In order to facilitate my being able to create this novel program in Preventive Dentistry, I took CTSI’s Course Design/Redesign Institute in May 2013. The CTSI experience gave me the opportunity to completely reconceptualize the actual meaning of Preventive Dentistry, which would then inform how this course could be created.As indicated previously, the main learning goal of the original course in Preventive Dentistry (and at most other Universities as well) was to teach the prevention of dental caries. Yet, dental caries isn’t the only infectious disease to afflict the mouth. Moreover, it is not the only disease to affect the mouth that can be prevented. Therefore, I redesigned the learning goals and outcomes to modernize the discipline in the new context of prevention of a wider array of oral disease in addition to the sole prevention of caries.I have created a new course syllabus and I also reactivated and revitalized the seminar sessions in this course since 2012. I will use Bloom’s taxonomy to help me think about learning outcomes and how my lectures and seminars will help achieve these. I will use some formative evaluation methods in my course i.e. ticket-out-the-door, new seminars, mini-papers and graffiti activities.I have also prepared a new course syllabus to align the curricula of the DEN215H1 undergrad course under my responsibility, and this course, which will also reflect my new philosophical approach to the teaching and practice of Preventive Dentistry. The various foci of this new program became clear on viewing my newly proposed course syllabus. In order to attract the interest of the DDS students my objective was to reorganize and redesign the course so as to make it more evidence-based. New lecturettes and new reading materials will make it more current. As the course did not utilize Blackboard my redesign will provide an opportunity for this to happen.

In reality, since I took the Institute it gave me the ‘momentum’ in my course and I really think that I have changed it completely. This CTSI experience has had other collateral effects as I was able to deconstruct and rebuild my whole teaching philosophy statement. I am so glad I participated in this CTSI program.My take-aways from this experience have been broad and now when I go to department meetings to discuss curricula development I start talking about Bloom’s Taxonomy concepts, formative evaluation methods, etc. This comes so naturally in my mind that is making my colleagues kind of curious about the institute, what a magic kingdom!PS. I also cannot forget the metaphorical jar and the teddy bear from Mr. Bean…. again thanks for this mind changing learning experience.

I read some materials online from the CTSI website but my major source for work after the CDI was the binder of materials provided during the institute.

YOUR NEXT STEPS: I want to implement the changes in my course this year and check the impact on the students. Interestingly, I was asked by my chair to move my course to year 1 instead of keeping it in year 2 in the Dentistry curriculum development. I will try to take advantage of this opportunity to get feedback about my new redesigned course from both classes – Dentistry 1 and 2!