Dental Materials

Get advanced education in dental materials

Dental materials include the natural tissues (enamel, dentin, cementum, bone, and other intraoral tissues) and biocompatible synthetic materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, and composite structures) used to restore decayed, damaged, or fractured teeth.

As a student in the Graduate Dental Materials Program, you will focus on restoring and maintaining patients’ oral health through materials science as you work toward a Master of Science in Dentistry degree. During this two-year program, you’ll gain advanced knowledge of research and methodology for materials applications, including:

  • Knowledge of the compositional and microstructural features of preventive and restorative dental materials
  • Concepts of biocompatibility
  • Definitions and applications of the mechanical and physical properties of dental biomaterials
  • Principles of materials science as relate to dentistry
  • Education for the proper manipulation and application of dental materials
  • Analysis of material and structural defects relevant to clinical failure of dental restorations and prostheses
  • Criteria for selecting materials for patient-centered clinical practice

The Master of Science in Dentistry degree program is open only to those who hold a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree. The School of Dentistry and the University Graduate School jointly offer a Master of Science in Dental Materials for those who do not hold a doctorate in dentistry.

About the Master of Science in Dentistry degree program

The Master of Science in Dentistry (M.S.D.) degree and a clinical certificate are awarded upon completion of required didactic and clinical coursework, oral and written qualifying exams, and a research project culminating in a thesis or journal manuscript. This is a combined degree/certificate program; the school does not offer the option to earn only a clinical certificate.

The M.S.D. program starts the first week of July each year; students may not enter the program in the spring semester. If you are an international student, you must arrive on campus at the end of May to complete the English for Academic Purposes placement test.

View the degree requirements

Core competencies

If you successfully complete the program, you will be able to demonstrate competency in these areas.

You will be able to:

  • Describe the major classes of dental biomaterials used in clinical dentistry
  • Explain the differences in the chemical nature of the major classes of materials
  • Recognize the effects of chemical nature on the mechanical behavior of materials
  • Describe the relationship between material characteristics and clinical performance of dental biomaterials.

You will be able to:

  • Identify the physical and chemical principles of major material testing
  • Select and justify appropriate testing methods for the major classes of dental biomaterials
  • Formulate hypotheses and design the necessary experiments for a given material evaluation scenario

You will be able to:

  • Present research methods and results correctly in oral and written reports
  • Provide evidence-based arguments on research findings in oral and written reports
  • Provide suggestions on dental biomaterial selection based on current dental literature

Application process

You will use the IU Graduate CAS Application to apply for admission to the program.

The application deadline is November 1 each year.

Learn how to apply

Costs and financial aid

M.S.D. students pay an annual flat rate for tuition. The rate varies based on your residency classification (whether you’re considered an in-state or out-of-state student). Other costs include university fees and instrument rental or purchase.

Federal student loans are available to qualified students. A limited number of small scholarships are awarded by academic departments.

Learn more about costs and financial aid

Costs Specific to Dental Materials

The School of Dentistry provides an estimated cost of attendance for dental graduate programs.

Learn more about costs specific to Dental Materials