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Oral Medicine

Course Description

The oral medicine course constitutes of two main components: theoretical and clinical parts. The theoretical part is delivered to students through oral medicine interactive lectures that will provide insight into most primary and secondary lesions affecting oral and para-oral structures of hard and soft tissues. The clinical part includes cases representative of the primary and secondary oral lesions, covered in oral medicine lectures. They will be evaluated and discussed with the students in small group discussion forms, to refine the students' clinical abilities, and emphasize that treatment of oral medicine cases is multidisciplinary.

Students are assigned to individual clinical cases, and are required to follow up the patients' management, and to present their cases in the form of oral presentations. It is a requirement of the course that every student presents a complete case (initial and final presentations).

Clinical cases include:

  1. Red and white lesions
  2. Single and multiple ulcerations
  3. Central and peripheral exophytic lesions
  4. Pigmented lesions
  5. Acute and chronic infections
  6. Systemic diseases with oral manifestations (e.g. diabetes, dermatological diseases…etc).
  7. Lymph-node and salivary gland swellings
  8. Orofacial pain and TMJ disorders.
  9. Neoplasms (benign and malignant)
Students are assigned to individual cases, are required to follow up the patients' management (supervised by a faculty member), and to initially present their cases in the form of oral presentations as minimum procedural experience. Subsequently, completed cases will be presented to the class in conjunction with other diagnostic department's staff. Case presentations should be supplemented with initial and follow- up clinical photographs and radiographs, as well as with histopathological, laboratory investigation and consultation reports. In addition, the students should give a short presentation of recent advances and/or researches related to their cases.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Classify, identify the etiology, and describe the clinical pictures of the most common oral lesions.
  2. Clarify the diagnostic basis for diseases and conditions in the oral and para-oral structures.
  3. Explain the risk factors, prevention and control of common oral and systemic diseases.
  4. Execute a systematic clinical extra and intra-oral examination.
  5. Perform full documentation of cases by taking extra-oral and full mouth intraoral photographs, and recording all patient data.
  6. Differentiate clinically between normal oral variants and pathologic oral lesions, and distinguish suspicious or difficult lesions to be referred for consultation.
  7. Develop differential diagnosis of the most common oral lesions, select appropriate diagnostic aids and interpret their results to reach diagnosis of oral lesions.
  8. Diagnose and manage the most common oral lesions, formulate appropriate prescriptions for oral medicine cases, recognize the role of the general dental practitioner in early diagnosis of oral lesions, and apply referral or consultation for advanced cases and cases that need different treatment considerations.
  9. Outline dental management of some selected systemic disorders by installing precautions and modifications of conventional dental treatment, and describe how to prevent and manage some medical emergencies in the dental clinic.
  10. Review mechanisms of action of the most commonly used drugs in dental practice to prescribe proper medication as part of patient management.
  11. Show efficient and professional communication with patients, colleagues, instructors, clinical and laboratory staff.
  12. Illustrate the importance of lifelong learning and show a strong commitment to it.
Oral Medicine Skill Development Program (OMSDP)

It is the training and development provided for oral medicine students throughout the fifth year within the Oral Medicine (OM) clinical sessions.

OMSDP supports the division to achieve its aims in the teaching process and represents an essential part of the training in oral medicine. The OMSDP is introduced to help develop and expand students’ clinical and skills in specific areas through a set of sessions as part of their undergraduate education. The training will be provided primarily by the OM staff; however, some skills will be provided or supervised by experts from other departments.

The class will be subdivided into small groups. There will be a timetable for these groups, so that each student attends a specific skill every week throughout the academic year.

A. The teaching of Oral Medicine skills is achieved by various methods:
  • Verbal instructions
  • Demonstration
  • Small group teaching (problem solving sessions)
  • Video presentations
  • Active learning and presentations
  • Team work and projects (web-based assignments)

B. Skills covered in Oral medicine clinical sessions include:

  • Reviewing thorough intra and extra-oral examination (mainly cranial nerve examination and oral lesions description)
  • Properly describing oral and para-oral lesions
  • Writing referral letters and formulating prescription
  • Developing critical thinking in case based learning and problem solving sessions
  • Selecting appropriate laboratory investigations for the most common oral lesions and systemic diseases encountered in dental clinic
  • Screening of  oral cancer
  • Introduction to auditing
  • Applying presentation skills and scientific net searching in active learning sessions where web based assignments were presented.
C. Description of skills covered in OMSDP:

1- Description of oral lesions
A standardized technique to describe oral lesions is introduced to students in a small group teaching session. It is followed by thinking based learning where students are given clinical examples of oral lesions, and asked to apply the lesion description system to their clinical cases.

2- Writing a referral letter
In this small group teaching session, students will be divided into smaller groups , given 2-3 clinical scenarios and asked as a group (team work) to write a referral/consultation letter to different medical and dental specialists. The proper letters will be presented and each students’ group will evaluate others’ work based on different items presented by the supervisor (peer-assessment). The aims of this session is to practice the writing up of actual referral/consultations letters.

3-Problem solving sessions
In these problem-based learning sessions, different clinical scenarios are presented to students who are divided into small groups. These scenarios cover almost all topics dealt with in lectures, and cases are discussed with students. These sessions compensate for the limitation of clinical cases, and allow studentsto be exposed and be familiar with most primary and secondary lesions affecting oral and para- oral structures of hard and soft tissues. Students, by practicing problem solving throughout their practical sessions as part of OMSDP, are prepared for their final (OSPE ) which is a written competency examination at the end of  the course composed of  clinically based questions.

4-Laboratory investigations
This topic is covered in two small group teaching sessions: one covering oral biopsy , immunofluorescence techniques, and investigations carried for HIV, HBV and HCV; while the other session is dealing with routine hematologic screening (blood analysis), as well as investigations requested for the most common systemic diseases encountered in dental clinics: diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Students will be more familiar with oral biopsy techniques, indications, and limitations. Clinical examples are given to enhance the information. Different immunofluorescence techniques are also explained along with clinical indications and examples. Basic HIV and Hepatitis B investigations are also included. General hematologic laboratory investigations are explained in details, including normal and abnormal variations as well as clinical examples. Moreover, diabetes and hypertension investigations are discussed with students thoroughly.

5-Screening of oral cancer
Given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with advanced oral cancer and its treatment, the need to provide clinicians with accurate diagnostic techniques that will increase the screening and detection of early stage oral cancer has been found to be very important. Screening of oral cancer was discussed in a tutorial. It includes recognition of signs symptoms, and clinical presentation of oral cancer, comprehensive oral examination of every patient for the early detection of oral cancer or premalignant lesions.

The standard-of-care examination includes a thorough examination of every intraoral mucosal surface and the extraoral head and neck tissues, including the lymph nodes, TMJ, muscles of mastication and parotid gland. Conventional screening for oral cancer involves visual inspection and digital palpation of oral lesions. In addition, radiographic evaluation and aids to oral examination are discussed including vital tissue staining using toluidine blue, computer-assisted cytology or oral brush biopsy specimens, purpose of this course is for the students to understand and know how to apply and identify oral and maxillo-facial diseases and how these diseases to be studied


Head Of Department: Assistant Professor Dr. Khaqan Azam

Registrar: Dr. Rabia Chaudhry, Dr. Hamza Zahid & Dr. Zainab Iqbal

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