About the Program
The Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry will provide dentists the guidance, experience, and models necessary to begin delivery of proficient primary and specialty oral healthcare to infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special needs. Residents will learn current scientifically supported techniques and philosophies, and teaching will be conducted in a collegial atmosphere conducive to resident‑faculty interaction. Graduates will be defined by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry as educationally qualified. The program strives to instill in each resident the desire to become lifelong learners in the specialty.
Program goals include enabling residents to:
- provide evidence-based, comprehensive oral healthcare to infants, children, adolescents, and older individuals with special care needs;
- provide dental services to patients under general anesthesia in an operating room setting;
- provide dental services to patients under conscious sedation, and
- qualify for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry certification examination.
Tuition, Stipends, Equipment and Benefits
Tuition: There is no tuition associated with the certificate program in pediatric dentistry. If the resident is enrolled in the Master of Science in Oral Biology degree program, he/she must pay tuition for courses taken through the College of Graduate Studies. No texts are required, though we encourage residents to consider purchasing a standard text in pediatric dentistry. Residents may also wish to invest in texts on sedation, emergency management, pediatrics, or other topics.
Stipends: The current stipend for first-year residents is about $24,000, and for second-year residents about $28,000. Stipends are provided by the GRU Health System and other sources, and are not controlled by the department budget. Thus, no guarantee of stipends or stipend level can be made by the department. Augusta, Georgia is a beautiful city with a low cost of living. This makes it ideal for residency training from a financial standpoint.
Equipment: All supplies and equipment associated with the clinical program are provided by the institution. A clinic camera is provided for resident use. The program, however, encourages residents to consider purchasing their own camera for clinical photography.
Benefits: The College of Dental Medicine provides malpractice insurance coverage for residents while providing patient care at GRU. This insurance does not cover any outside dental practice. Residents are eligible for healthcare insurance if they pay a monthly co-premium.
Leave: Residents are entitled to GRU employee holidays, though assignments for emergency coverage must be maintained. Residents may be entitled to up to 12 days annual leave, and 5 days of professional leave, at the discretion of the Program Director. 12 Days of medical leave are also granted to residents as outlined in the College of Dental Medicine Leave Policy for Dental Residents.
Pediatric dental patients of the College of Dental Medicine and GRU Health System are treated in the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic (on the second floor of the College of Dental Medicine). The clinic houses 16 operatories, of which 6 are assigned for resident use. Intraoral radiographic equipment is located in two of the resident operatories and in a third room dedicated to radiography. All radiographs are digital and GRU uses a paperless record system (AxiUm). Panoramic and cephalometric equipment is located in the dental radiology area.
Residents have shared office space within the clinic. Computers are available in each office, as well as in the faculty office area. Residents are given e-mail accounts with fax capability, and access to the internet. Departmental printers are networked.
The clinic employs five full-time dental assistants and two clinic receptionists. Residents are assigned a dental assistant for all clinic sessions.
Operating room facilities are located in the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. We schedule cases every Friday. Most of the OR cases are ambulatory, but inpatient procedures are scheduled as necessary. We also “piggyback” cases with other services throughout the year.
The College of Dental Medicine moved into a new state-of-the-art facility in July, 2011.
Teaching Experience: Second‑year residents spend one half-day per week teaching in the predoctoral clinic under faculty supervision. Residents also participate in teaching the laboratory portion of the preclinical pediatric dentistry course for junior dental students. Several seminars are structured around resident presentations.
Research: Residents are required to complete a research project under faculty guidance. These projects may be clinical or laboratory data collection studies, or, in limited situations, may take the form of case reports and/or comprehensive literature reviews. One half-day per week is provided throughout the program for completion of the research project.
Didactic Curriculum: The curriculum is a semester-based, two‑year cycle of seminar and lecture courses designed to prepare residents for careers in clinical practice and teaching in the specialty. Several seminar courses are held jointly with other departments (orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics). Residents in pediatric dentistry also participate in the core basic science and clinical science sequences established for all advanced education programs in the College of Dental Medicine. Approximately 15% of the residents’ time is devoted to didactic activities.
Clinical Curriculum: Clinical activities take place in the College of Dental Medicine. Dental school and GRU Health System Dental Service patients are treated in the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic. Each resident also treats patients in the Orthodontic Clinic under the supervision of faculty from that department. Rotations are described below. Approximately 70% of the residents’ time is devoted to clinical activities.
CPR: The College of Dental Medicine offers a CPR course for all residents shortly after the program begins. First-year residents are required to participate; participation for second-year residents is optional, but encouraged. First-year residents participate in the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course.
Rotations: Residents spend one month during the first semester of the first year in a general anesthesia rotation. A two-week rotation in pediatrics is provided in the second semester of the first year. Residents participate in an emergency coverage rotation that includes evening and weekend coverage by pager. Residents are assigned to attend the monthly Cleft Palate Board staffings with a faculty member. Second-year residents participate in the monthly meeting of the Hemophilia Team at GRU Health System. Additional rotations may be available depending on resident interest. Additionally, each resident participates in training at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Hospital for one month rotations on a rotating schedule, starting in February of the first year in the program and extending to February of the second year. Housing is provided by the hospital.
Orthodontic Experience: Residents spend the first 6 weeks of their program attending orientation seminars with orthodontic residents in that department. Pediatric dentistry residents are assigned orthodontic patients by the director of the orthodontic program, and they treat those patients in the Orthodontic Clinic under his/her supervision. Patients requiring interceptive procedures are also treated in the pediatric dentistry clinic.
Outside Practice: Outside practice opportunities are possible under guidelines that ensure that the resident’s performance in the program is not jeopardized. Residents wishing to practice outside the school must be licensed in the state and have their own liability insurance.
The Master’s Degree Program
The College of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Science in Oral Biology degree which may be taken in conjunction with the certificate curriculum. This joint program gives the student more extensive experience in research and basic science education and requires and in-depth original research project leading to a defended thesis. Tuition is charged on a per credit hour bases for the graduate courses taken. The applicant must be accepted by the College of Graduate Studies and the Department of Oral Biology. Application to the graduate program is made after acceptance to the certificate program.
A Ph.D. in Oral Biology may also be pursued concurrently with speciality training.