Year 4 — Advanced Clinical Experiences

The fourth year of the curriculum brings opportunity to apply skills developed and mastered in Year 3 in a variety of settings. Students continue to provide comprehensive care at the Teaching Practice at the Harvard Dental Center and learn advanced techniques such as esthetics, implant therapy, and advanced pain-management techniques. Required clinical rotations, an externship experience, and elective opportunities broaden the clinical experience.

Evaluation of students moves from formative and summative measures to a more comprehensive assessment of student academic, clinical, and professional achievement. Students are assessed on case completion in keeping with the program’s goal of training students to provide comprehensive care. Case presentation to colleagues and faculty is a requirement of this year.

Comprehensive Care Rotation

Dental students continue to provide care to their patients at HSDM in a three-month Comprehensive Care Rotation.  Dental students are able to perform more advanced techniques in prosthetics, esthetic dentistry, and implantology.

General Dentistry Rotation

Students participate in a three-month general dentistry rotation at a Veterans Affairs hospital or an affiliated community health center in the Boston area. Working under the supervision of faculty, students provide care to patients with a wide variety of needs. Students gain perspective on their training and skills with feedback from patients and supervisors in a setting outside of the School’s Teaching Practice.

Oral Surgery Rotation

Students participate in a one-month oral surgery rotation at an affiliated Harvard academic medical center.

Elective Time

Students are free to use elective time as they choose. Students pursuing an honor’s track in research may continue or complete their work. Some opt to use elective time at other dental schools completing electives in a specialty field, while others pursue international community-health experiences.