Enhancing the dental histology curriculum using computer technology.

Brian R. MacPherson, Jennifer K. Brueckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The predominant difference between the histology offered to dental students and that taken by other health care professionals is the emphasis placed on the oral tissues. The oral histology component of the dental curriculum is commonly handled in one of three ways, all delivering far more detailed information than the often less than one hour that a typical medical histology course spends on the oral cavity and its component tissues. Overall, three general curricular styles can be defined: 1) dental histology is taught by medical or dental faculty as a separate course, the oral histology component being a separate course taught by either faculty group; 2) medical and dental students take histology together in a single class with the oral histology component taught separately by faculty from either college; and 3) both basic and oral histology is taught within a single semester, the format used at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. The oral histology topics are similar in all of the course formats, regardless of whether they occur as a stand-alone course or are merged with basic histology. The main portion of this paper will describe a self-study, non-microscope-based laboratory experience designed to complement this fused topic course. Self-study labs using digital media are becoming more popular across both medical and dental histology curricula, specifically with the oral histology component where the histological skills for preparing these tissues are rapidly disappearing from many schools. This paper describes a typical syllabus for a fused course, outlining the topics for basic and oral histology, and demonstrates how the laboratory portion has been enhanced using digital technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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