Learning Objectives

Upon the completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Define dental caries.
  • Discuss the medical history of caries along with its natural history.
  • Identify the combination of factors required for caries to develop, and how sub-factors influence this process.
  • Define dental plaque as a microbial biofilm.
  • Describe the development and maturation of dental plaque.
  • Understand the microbial diversity of plaque and recognize it as an ecosystem.
  • Discuss the ecological plaque hypothesis.
  • Name the bacteria associated with caries.
  • Discuss how the acidity in the oral environment is the major determinant of plaque ecology.
  • Identify how bacteria convert dietary carbohydrates to acids.