• geriatric dentistry;
  • curriculum development;
  • special populations

doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2011.00471.x

A 30-year review of a geriatric dentistry teaching programme

Objective:  To review the development of the Geriatric Dental and Special Needs Education programme at the University of Iowa over the last 30 years.

Background:  The programme at Iowa evolved from a didactic elective programme taught by a single faculty person to a required didactic and clinical programme, which includes a Special Care Clinic in the dental school and a mobile unit with portable dental equipment which serves ten area nursing homes with comprehensive care.

Materials and methods:  Changes have been made in the programme over time based on formal and informal feedback from students and graduates, and we have also looked at the impact of the programme on dental services to our target population.

Results:  The factors influencing the curriculum development are identified and discussed.

Conclusion:  As no dental schools are the same, some general applications are suggested from the Iowa experience.