The Department of Comprehensive Care at Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine houses clinical aspects of the DMD program and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program (AEGD). The department is responsible for the predoctoral education of fixed-, removable-, and implant prosthodontics, occlusion, biomaterials, operative dentistry, and the DMD Comprehensive Care Clinical Activities. During the course of their four years of dental education, DMD students will participate in didactic courses, hands-on preclinical simulation courses, and clinical training in general dentistry.
During the course of their clinical education, students learn to practice evidence-based dentistry by evaluating the literature, critically appraising new medical knowledge and therapies, and applying that information to provide the best oral health care for their patients. Dental students have an opportunity to have early clinical experiences by providing preventative and periodontal treatment in their 1st and 2nd years of dental school. In their 3rd and 4th years of dental school, students participate in a clinical competency-based program in which they treat patients in our clinic and on clinical rotations to specialty clinics and community based clinical facilities. The School of Dental Medicine DMD Comprehensive Care Clinic is divided into general dental practices called Preceptor Groups.
The Preceptor program is the longest standing Comprehensive Care program in the country. Started in 1967, this program emulates a general dental private practice. Under the guidance of their Preceptor, students learn to:
Dr. Ronald Occhionero was honored for his 50 years of service to the School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Occhionero has been on the Faculty of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine since 1964. During his tenure at the school, he has held several prominent positions, including Chair of General Dentistry and Associate Dean of Administration.
Dr. Occhionero has been a leader in organized dentistry throughout the State of Ohio. His visionary leadership has led the way in dental education, developing new models for the instruction of clinical general dentistry. Dr. Occhionero developed the Preceptor Program, which is a comprehensive care program that simulates the private practice setting. This innovative program is now the standard for teaching clinical dentistry. He also established the Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) program, which is certified by the Ohio Dental Association Council on Dental Education. This program was also the first of its kind in the US.
Dr. Occhionero is a wonderful leader, mentor, and colleague to all who have crossed the doorway of this institution. His service to the profession and the community is greatly appreciated.
Dr. Lang is the Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and the Chair of the Department of Comprehensive Care. She received her BS in Dental Hygiene and DDS from the University of Michigan. She completed an AEGD Program at Columbia University and earned a Certificate and MS in Prosthodontics from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Lang is a fellow of the American Board of Prosthodontics. In 2010, she earned an MBA in Health Care Management from Texas Tech University.
Dr. Lang’s research efforts have been primarily in clinical outcomes data (parameters of health/disease, success/failure of treatment, and Health Related Quality of Life, success/failure of treatment, and Health Related Quality of Life measures) and implant biomechanics. Her research interests in the area of implant biomechanics have included the evaluation of abutment-implant joint stability, preload and its effect on osseointegration, the effect of fit on the stress distribution of the implant to bone complex, and immediate loading of dental implants.
During her career, Dr. Lang has received several awards for excellence in teaching and research. Most notably, she received the Mather’s Women of Achievement Award in 2012 from CWRU. Dr. Lang is a member of ADA, ODA, GCDS, AO, ACP, and Academy of Prosthodontics. She has held several offices in these organizations including Chair of the Prosthodontics Section of ADEA and Chair of the Education and Research Committees of several organizations, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Greater Cleveland Dental Society.