The Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry offers the student a comprehensive 24-month course of study in clinical and didactic pediatric dentistry. The program is designed to meet the educational requirements for limitation of practice to the specialty of pediatric dentistry and examination by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The program emphasizes a diversified educational experience. The program places emphasis on all phases of pediatric dentistry including trauma, preventive dentistry, restorative, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics and hospital dentistry. The program enables the student to provide comprehensive oral health care for the well child, the medically compromised and children with special needs. There is extensive use of various treatment modalities for pain control and behavioral management, such as sedation, analgesia and general anesthesia. Research experience is gained through completion of an individual research project and master’s thesis.
Seminars are held in pediatric dentistry, orthodontic diagnosis and treatment, treatment planning, growth and development, cephalometric analysis, pediatric dentistry literature review, and behavior guidance. Formal courses in biostatistics, principles of pediatrics, pediatric advanced life support, head and neck anatomy, neurodevelopmental disabilities, leadership seminars, basic sciences, and clinical core courses are required. The students participate in undergraduate clinical teaching and supervision.
One-month rotations occur in general anesthesia, and two-week rotations occur in the pediatric emergency room and pediatric medicine. During the year, rotations in cleft palate, craniofacial anomalies and hemophilia occur. Optional elective rotations are available in treating institutionalized handicapped patients (in Lynchburg). Elective didactic courses also are available.
Students completing the program earn a specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry and a Master of Science in Dentistry degree. Students must complete the requirements for the master’s degree prior to being awarded the specialty certificate.
The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.