Penn launches free online introductory dental course

The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine is offering a free, online course for the public to learn more about dentistry basics.

The course, Introduction to Dental Medicine, lasts seven weeks and will cover modern dentistry. The course is specifically targeted at healthcare professionals working outside of dentistry, and the school hopes it will also be valuable to students considering a career in dentistry. Topics include basic dental anatomy, examination techniques, and common orofacial disorders.

"Many physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare practitioners don't really know much about dental diseases," stated Uri Hangorsky, DMD, a clinical professor of periodontics at the dental school and one of the course lecturers, in a press release. "By taking this course, they will be able to better integrate dental health with the overall health of their patients."

Professors from the dental school will teach the online course, which is part of Penn's Open Learning Initiative. Each video lecture will cover a different aspect of dental medicine.

Registration is now open on Coursera. The course begins June 1, and anyone with Internet access can register. However, students who want an official certificate verifying course completion will be charged a fee.

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