Preventive and Community Dentistry

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Graduate degree: MS in dental public health



The Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry educates future and practicing dental and oral health professionals, preparing them to understand and recognize:

  • conditions that compromise patients;
  • social, cultural, community, and political influences on dental practice;
  • principles of preventive dentistry for individuals, groups, and communities; and
  • considerations for preventing and treating oral disease in geriatric and special needs patients.

In addition to offering educational programs, the department provides patient care at the College of Dentistry and in a variety of off-campus settings. It also is home to research that advances dental public health. The department offers an MS in dental public health and the Certificate in Geriatric and Special Needs Dentistry.

DDS Student Training

Predoctoral training in preventive, community, and geriatric dentistry is designed to increase Doctor of Dental Surgery students' awareness of preventive dental practices, aspects of dental practices affected by community factors, and care of compromised adult patients.

Community dentistry programs give students opportunities to interact with health care teams and the public in Iowa and around the world. The department conducts off-site community programs statewide, nationwide, and worldwide. It also operates the Geriatric and Special Needs Clinic, which is housed in the Dental Science Building.

Using the community dentistry programs as the classroom, DDS students observe and participate in a variety of activities that nurture their awareness of the societal obligations they must assume in order to become effective practitioners.