About Our School

What is Operative Dentistry?

What is Operative Dentistry? 

Operative dentistry is the art and science of the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of defects of the teeth that do not require full coverage restorations for correction. Such treatment should result in the restoration of proper tooth form, function and esthetics while maintaining the physiologic integrity of the teeth in harmonious relationship with the adjacent hard and soft tissues, all of which should enhance the general health and welfare of the patient.

You can learn more about the discipline of operative dentistry through the Academy of Operative Dentistry.

The UNC School of Dentistry provides three different clinics at which patients may receive care, as well as a number of active research studies in which patients may participate. The Department of Operative Dentistry provides services in all three clinics:

Pre-Doctoral Student Clinics

Students in the DDS program treat patients during their second, third and fourth years. For information on how to schedule a screening appointment, click here or call the pre-doctoral student clinics.

Phone: (919) 966-2805

Emergency Phone*: (919) 966-4131

Graduate Operative Dentistry Clinic

Graduate students in the three-year graduate program in operative dentistry are dentists who are receiving advanced training in the discipline. These graduate students treat patients who require advanced restorative or esthetic dentistry treatment. Call for a screening appointment, or click here to learn more about the Graduate Operative Dentistry Clinic.

Phone: (919) 537-3832

Emergency Phone*: (919) 537-3832

Dental Faculty Practice

Faculty of the Department of Operative Dentistry provide restorative and esthetic patient care in the school’s Dental Faculty Practice. The department is widely recognized for its expertise, having published the top-selling dental textbook in the world, Sturdevant’s Art and Science of Operative Dentistry. For more information or to make a new patient appointment, visit the Dental Faculty Practice website or call the office directly.

Phone: (919) 537-3939

Emergency Phone*: (919) 537-3939 (Message)

Clinical Research

The department conducts clinical trials on tooth whitening and tooth-colored restorative materials. For information on how to become a study participant, please contact our clinical research coordinator.

Phone: (919) 537-3342

Emergency Phone*: (919) 537-3573



*Please note that in the event of a medical emergency, patients should call 911.