UW School of Dentistry


Dental Curriculum Threads

Oral Microbiology

Course Director: Jeffrey McLean
Credits: 2
Quarters/Yr of Program: Autumn / 1

Course Overview

Caries and periodontitis are the most common microbial based diseases that dentists treat every day, so it essential that dentists have an understanding of the etiology of these diseases and basic microbiology. Microbiology and Pathology jointly comprise one quarter of the Part 1 national dental board exam.

Learning Objectives

The student who successfully completes this course will be able to:

1. Describe the principles of general microbiology, the factors responsible for virulence in select oral bacteria, the pathogenesis of infectious diseases (structure of virus, virus living cycle, basic knowledge of immunity response, barriers, bacterial toxins, adhesins, mechanisms of escape against immunity, etc.)
2. Discuss the current state of dental microbiology, evolution of oral microbes, bacterial genetics (viruses, bacteria, parasites, mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer – transformation, transduction, conjugation, specific genetic elements – insertion sequences, transposons, integrons, etc.)
3. Explain the microbiological, biochemical and pathological aspects of dental plaque.
4. Discuss and explain the bacteriological etiology and pathogenic mechanisms of the two major plaque-related diseases, caries and chronic marginal periodontal disease, and their possible sequelae.
5. Describe the principles of recombinant DNA technology and describe applications to dentistry.
6. Describe the bases of preventive measures and strategies directed against caries and periodontal disease.
7. Describe the principles of clinical asepsis.
8. Discuss the basic scientific rationale for the practice of dentistry with regard to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of oral microbiological disease and their sequelae.
9. Identify the morphology and arrangement of bacterial cells.
10. Compare and contrast cell wall components in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Describe how the cell structure of gram-negative and gram-positive cells leads to a given Gram stain result.
11. Describe how oxygen affects the growth of aerobes, obligate anaerobes, and facultative anaerobes.
12. Explain the differences between microbial colonization and infection and give examples of each process.
13. Describe the beneficial roles of normal flora in the host-microbe ecological relationship.
14. Describe the newest approaches in culture independent microbiological techniques to understand the taxonomic and genomic diversity of oral bacteria.

UWSOD Competencies: 1, 2, 3, 4

Date last updated: 2018-01-22