UW School of Dentistry


Molecular Microbiology and Oral Diseases

Richard Darveau

3 Credits / Quarter 1 (Autumn, First Year)

Course Description

Applies students’ background knowledge in basic sciences to an understanding of specific microbiology of various niches in oral cavity, formation and metabolic activity of dental plaque, and etiology, pathogenesis, histopathology, and clinical characteristics of dental diseases. Principles involved in prevention of cross-contamination and diagnosis of clinical infections.

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge of the microbiological, biochemical, and pathologic aspects of dental plaque and the bacterial etiology of caries and periodontal disease. The student will also gain knowledge of the principles of clinical asepsis. The objectives will be for the student to have (1) a basic scientific rationale for the basis of preventive measures and strategies directed against caries and periodontal disease and (2) a rationale for the practice of dentistry that includes the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral microbial diseases and their sequellae.

Course Outline

Lecture topics include: spectrum of plaque-related diseases; formation and structure of dental deposits; adherence and accumulation of bacteria on teeth; microbiology of caries; histopathology of the carious lesion; the demineralization process of caries; remineralization of the carious lesion; prevention of plaque related diseases; classification and features of periodontal diseases; microbiology of periodontal diseases; gingivitis and periodontitis; juvenile periodontitis; acute periodontal infections; and principles of clinical asepsis.

Course Expectations

  • To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student must demonstrate his/her understanding of the lecture topics by passing a midterm and a final examination.
  • Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course.  Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 1: Examine a patient using contemporary diagnostic methods to evaluate the head and neck region and to reach a diagnosis of the patient’s oral and craniofacial health status.
  • UWSOD Competency 7: Manage pulpal and periradicular disease.
  • UWSOD Competency 14: Manage periodontal diseases.
  • UWSOD Competency 15: Assess the teeth and supporting structures and provide preventive services.


Course Website

*last updated: 12/1/2014