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Fontana-led study rated as one of best in dental journal in 2016

Dr. Margherita Fontana

Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 5, 2017 -– A study led by a University of Michigan School of Dentistry faculty member has been cited as one of the top 10 articles published in 2016 in the Journal of Dental Education.

Dr. Margherita Fontana, a professor in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, is the lead author of “Development of a Core Curriculum Framework in Cariology for U.S. Dental Schools,” published by the American Dental Education Association’s journal in June 2016.

The article was selected as one of the journal’s top 10 entries of the year by its editor, Dr. Nadeem Karimbux, who considered quality, topic areas, design of study and diversity of topics published in the JDE.  The peer-reviewed monthly journal, published continuously since 1936, is recognized internationally for its wide variety of educational and scientific research in dental, allied dental and advanced dental education.

Fontana and an international team of colleagues created a competency-based core cariology curriculum framework for use in U.S. dental schools. The study notes that “… risk-based prevention and patient-centered, evidence-based disease management, reassessed at regular intervals over time, are the cornerstones of present-day caries management. Yet management of caries based on risk assessment that goes beyond restorative care has not had a strong place in curriculum development and competency assessment in U.S. dental schools.”

Working with the cariology section of the ADEA, the researchers organized a workshop to adapt the European Core Cariology Curriculum to the needs of U.S. dental education. Participants included more than 70 faculty members from 35 U.S. dental schools, three in Canada and four other international schools. All 65 U.S. dental schools were invited to provide feedback on the draft of the plan, and a recommended competency statement on caries management also was developed.

The study offers the resulting curriculum framework as a tool that “can serve as a resource and benchmark for improving the teaching of cariology in U.S. dental schools” as they review their cariology courses.

The article is available for free on the JDE website through Feb. 15, or to ADEA members anytime.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:

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