Postgraduate Program in Pediatric Dentistry - Certificate

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Degree Offered: Certificate
Program Leadership:
Thomas Tanbonliong, DDS, Program Director
Admissions Inquiries:
Brennan Crilly, Assistant Director, Admissions and Outreach

Program Description

The program offers two different tracks:  a two-year residency certificate track only, and a three-year track with a certificate and master’s degree. For the three-year track, students simultaneously complete a master’s in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences (from UCSF) or a master’s in Public Health (through San Jose State University).

Instruction in all areas of pediatric dentistry is provided through lectures, seminars, and clinical experience in diverse clinical settings including specialty inpatient and outpatient clinics and hospital operating rooms. Emphasis is placed on pediatric dentistry's relationship to all other areas of dentistry and medicine, including for the medically complex and special health care needs patient. All students will complete a core curriculum in biostatistics, biomaterials, developmental biology, oral pathology, pharmacology, genetics, and medical ethics. Residents are also exposed to different dental public health topics that impact providing oral care to the most vulnerable population. This diverse curriculum develops students' ability to apply evidence-based principles to clinical decision-making.

The program's clinical component provides a well-balanced experience in treating healthy children, children with special health care needs, broad exposure to traumatic injuries, and children with acute medical conditions. Exposure to different pharmacological and non-pharmacological behavior guidance techniques is an integral part of the student's training. Students receive well-rounded and in-depth clinical experiences to prepare them for multiple scenarios, which enhances their ability to respond to and manage clinical situations that they will encounter in practice.

Clinical rotations include anesthesia, pediatric medicine, and oral medicine. The presence of the divisions of orthodontics and craniofacial anomalies within the department leads to strong ties and education in these areas. Students are exposed to interceptive orthodontics at the beginning of the program. Students also serve as teaching assistants in the pre-doctoral pediatric dental clinic, which further develops skills in clinical analysis and patient management.

Students must complete a research project under a faculty member’s supervision that will result in a manuscript ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Admission Requirements

We accept five postgraduate students into the three-year program (MATCH selection process) and two postgraduate residents into the two-year program (MATCH selection process) each year. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

3-Year Postgraduate Program

  • Hold a DDS or DMD degree issued by a dental school accredited by the U.S. ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) by the start of the program.
  • Applicants must Pass the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE), Part 1 or Integrated National Board Exam (INBDE) by the application deadline if you are currently in dental school. Applicants that have completed dental school must Pass and submit NBDE Parts 1 and 2 or INBDE by application deadline. Matched applicants must Pass and submit NBDE Part 2 results by the start of the program if the NBDE Part 1/2 exam was taken.  
  • A separate application for SJSU MPH program will be required.  

2-Year Postgraduate Program

  • Must have an advanced level degree (e.g., MS, PhD, MPH), or have completed advanced education training (e.g., residency program, AEGD, GPR or Fellowships), or have extensive post DDS/DMD clinical practice experience prior to the start of the program.
  • Hold a DDS or DMD degree issued by a dental school accredited by the U.S. ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) by the start of the program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Passing score(s) from NBDE Parts 1 and 2 or the Integrated National Board Exam (INBDE) are required by the application deadline.

Learn more about Pediatric Dentistry Program admissions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, learners will be expected to:

  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge in the evidenced-based science that drives the practice of pediatric dentistry.
  2. Develop an appropriate comprehensive treatment plan that includes prevention, restorative, endodontic, surgical and orthodontic procedures for the healthy as well as the medically complex and special health care needs pediatric patient.
  3. Be able to manage pediatric dental patients using different behavior guidance modalities, from basic behavior management techniques to advanced behavior management techniques.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in the evaluation and medical management of pediatric patients who have acute and chronic medical conditions.
  5. Be able to function as an integral member of a medical interdisciplinary team.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in managing the needs of patients with different craniofacial anomalies.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge and clinical competence in management of traumatic injuries to primary and permanent dentitions.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge and awareness on dental public health issues affecting the pediatric and adolescent population, including those in underserved and disadvantaged communities.
  9. Be eligible to participate in the ABPD certification process.

Additional Information

Program Faculty