Pioneer in blended learning: Master’s degree program in dentistry celebrates its 15th year

Continuing education for dentists offers a treatment concept that can be applied directly in practice

An online course of study with attendance modules, something which many departments are striving for today, was already developed 15 years ago in the master’s program in periodontology and implant therapy at the University of Freiburg. Its successful implementation continues to this day. Even during the pandemic, study operations and the enrollment of new students continued without a hitch. Thanks to many years of experience with digital teaching formats, those responsible were able to react very flexibly to the new conditions and only had to slightly postpone a few attendance phases. The team’s great expertise in combined online and face-to-face teaching, so-called blended learning, benefits the students.

"The pandemic has illustrated beautifully how reliable the master’s program was designed from the very beginning based on its blended learning concept," says program director Petra Ratka-Krüger from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg and head of the Head of the Periodontology Section at the Clinic for Dental Conservation and Periodontology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg. "It is particularly gratifying that we regularly receive very positive feedback from students on the teaching formats and content." Participants in the three-year program often continue their education alongside their jobs and are spread throughout Germany and other German-speaking countries. Around 114 students have already successfully completed the program.

Periodontology: The basis for dental health

"Good and stable teeth only exist if you have healthy gums, which many people underestimate. Dentists with advanced training in periodontology and implant therapy can help their patients more specifically and with the latest methods when gum problems exist," says Ratka-Krüger. That is why the focus of the course is on teaching a periodontological treatment concept that can be applied directly in the practice. One focus is on surgical training, including the use of animal models, as well as on patient procedures closely supervised by specialists. Thus, the program supports both newcomers in the field of surgery as well as dentists already practicing periodontal surgery in the development of new skills at the cutting edge of science.

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