Division of Nutrition

Director, Dr. Riva Touger-Decker PhD, RD, FADA

Other faculty: Drs Diane Radler PhD, RD and Jane Ziegler DCN, RD

The Division of Nutrition in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences is responsible for the didactic and clinic based nutrition portion of the curriculum. This portion of the curriculum includes the role of diet and nutrition in prevention and management of oral diseases, oral manifestations of systemic diseases and dental procedures/surgeries along with nutrition risk assessment, diet evaluation and counseling in the clinic. Faculty members supervise dental students, residents and dietetic interns in the completion of competencies, and provide direct patient care in the Oral Medicine and Oral Facial Pain Clinics to medically complex patients. Faculty members conduct nutrition and oral health related research and supervise students in the conduct of research. In addition to their involvement in the predoctoral curriculum, faculty members collaborate with the divisions of oral medicine and orofacial pain in the supervision and education of residents and teach in the postdoctoral core curriculum.

Clinical Nutrition. This course is designed to prepare dental students to incorporate diet and nutrition principles and practices relative to oral health into dental practice. The fundamental principles of nutrition and diet as they relate to general and oral health covered in years 1 and 2 of the curriculum are built upon and further addressed in management of individuals with local, systemic and chronic disease. Clinically focused discussions on nutrition risk screening, diet evaluation and education for diseases of the oral cavity, and chronic and systemic diseases are included along with weight management, fitness, nutrition misinformation and eating disorders. The role of the dentist as a multicompetent health provider is addressed via a case-based teaching approach.

Diet and Nutrition Intervention in Clinic I. . This clinical course is provided following Clinical Dentistry in Year 2 and during and following the didactic course, Clinical Nutrition wherein students have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate clinical competency in the performance of diet and nutrition evaluation and education of patients.

Diet and Nutrition Intervention in Clinic II. This clinical course follows all the didactic Clinical Nutrition courses in the fourth year and provides students the opportunity to practice and demonstrate clinical competency in the performance of diet and nutrition evaluation and education of patients.