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Registration opens May 2 for Penn online course on introduction to dental medicine

April 29, 2016 The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine is hosting an open online course to help health professionals in fields outside dental medicine and those contemplating a career in dentistry better understand the oral cavity and its role on a person's overall health.
    
The course, "Introduction to Dental Medicine," is scheduled to run May 2-June 26, with enrollments ending May 7. The course debuted last year, attracting more than 8,650 enrollments and 5,740 active learners worldwide.
    
This year, the course will include four new topics: fluoridation, a typical visit to the dentist, local anesthesia and oral implications of disease. These new topics supplements the full content of the original course which covers a full range of topics within dental medicine — from basic concepts to reviewing trends in current research and technology.  
    
"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," said Dr. Uri Hangorsky, associate dean for academic affairs.
    
One of the key goals of the course, according to a press release, is to break down misconceptions about the field of dental medicine and to paint a more complete picture of its integral role in overall health.
    
"It's not just drilling, filling and doing six-month check-ups," Dr. Hangorsky said. "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 who want to receive official certificates verifying course completion will be charged a fee.
    
For more information or to register, visit coursera.org/learn/dental-medicine-penn.