About the School

Clinical Centers
Research Centers
Vision, Mission, and Goals


In 2014-15:
80 incoming predoctoral students were accepted out of 2,001 applications submitted.
• Of the incoming predoctoral student body:
         • 60 percent are female;
         • 50 percent are Pennsylvania residents.
• Average age of the incoming predoctoral student: 23.26 years;
• Total mean college GPA of the incoming predoctoral student: 3.65 (science 3.42) and academic average DAT score: 20.7 (science19.82).
322 students are enrolled in the predoctoral program;
• Residency programs include the following:
          Advanced Education in General Dentistry (2)
          Anesthesiology (7 plus4 post-doctoral fellows)
          Endodontics (8)
          General Practice Residency (3)
          Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (4)
          Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (14 plus 1 intern)
          Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (12)
          Pediatric Dentistry (4)

          Pediatric Oral and Maxillofacial/Craniofacial Surgery (1 fellow)
          Periodontics (9)
          Prosthodontics (9)
62 students are enrolled in the two-year Dental Hygiene Certificate Program
28 students are enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Dental Hygiene Program


For the 2011-12 academic year, the SDM has 92 full-time faculty, 89 part-time faculty, 102 adjunct faculty, and 21 emeritus faculty.

In 2010-11, SDM faculty:
• Generated more than $10 million for research;

• Authored more than 145 professional journal articles;

• Served organized dentistry with more than 23 faculty members

   holding office in professional and scientific organizations;

• More than 15 faculty members served on educational boards,

   study section committees, and state and national licensure agencies.


Dental Hygiene Program

Pitt's Dental Hygiene Program is the only program in Pennsylvania   that is affiliated with a major university and a university medical center. The program offers high-quality education providing extensive experience in specialty dental clinics and university-based hospitals in addition to didactic and research activities. The program provide the option of a Bachelor of Science degree through the College of General Studies, in addition to a certificate in dental hygiene.

Predoctoral DMD Program

The four-year predoctoral program prepares students to provide   basic health promotion and disease prevention, diagnose and develop treatment plans, analyze complex medical and dental cases, and achieve competency in all areas defined for general practitioners. The curriculum also reflects the school’s commitment to supporting the development of professionalism, life-long learning, and synthesis of clinical and biomedical science concepts. The four-year predoctoral program leads to a Doctoral degree in Dental Medicine (DMD).

Advanced Standing DMD Program

The Advanced Standing DMD Program for graduates of foreign dental schools demonstrates the school’s commitment to diversity within the profession. Qualified advanced standing students are placed in the predoctoral program as third-year dental students, and must complete the third- and fourth-year curriculum as prescribed.

Residency Programs

The School of Dental Medicine offers residency programs in 10 unique disciplines covering all specialties in dentistry. The programs vary in length and degree. Post-graduate studies in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics lead to a certificate and/or Master's of Dental Science degree (MDS). The Anesthesiology, Advanced Education in General Dentistry, and General Practice Residency programs offer certificates in their respective specialties.

Dental Informatics Postgraduate Program

This program offers Master's and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biomedical informatics with a concentration in dental informatics. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, such as information technology systems, medical information access and retrieval, medical databases, and machine learning from clinical data.

Oral Biology Graduate Program

The Department of Oral Biology has created a new graduate program in Oral Biology for post-baccalaureate students, predoctoral dental students, and dental residents with an interest in Oral Health research and pursuing academic careers. The graduate study in Oral Biology will cover a wide range of topics at the molecular, cellular, organismic, and clinical levels. The program will offer a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Oral Biology, or a Master of Science degree in Oral Biology.

SCOPE: Student Community Outreach Program and Education

SCOPE I was created to give pre-clinical dental students valuable experiences in community service. By participating in at least 40 hours of non-dental community projects during the first two years of dental school, a learning environment is created, which fosters the principles of service learning, where students can expand their personal and professional insight, gain experience in cultural competency and help serve the needs of the community. Students journals are written that reflect on their experiences and these writings are key learning tools for professional development. Scope II, the clinical phase of the program, taken in the student's fourth year at the SDM, was initiated in 1998 and has grown to serve many sites throughout western Pennsylvania. Our service area extends from Erie to Greene County and from Altoona to Youngstown, Ohio. The goal of our program is to give the students valuable clinical training and experience in a variety of clinical dental centers while enhancing the clinic's ability to provide necessary dental care to their individual community. Journal writing is again utilized and is a key element in the students' educational experience.

The Dual Degree (DMD/MPH) Program in Dental Public Health

The School of Dental Medicine and the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh have established a collaborative program that allows predoctoral dental students the opportunity to initiate and complete studies leading to a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree concurrently while enrolled in the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program.

 This collaboration features the following:

  • Completion of both the DMD and MPH degrees within four years.
  • No additional tuition costs beyond the dental school tuition.
  • Customizable course selection from across all departments in the Graduate School of Public Health.
  • Special emphasis on public health issues related to oral health.
  • Possible financial support for selected students to assist with books, research, and other program costs.

Graduates will be prepared to provide the resources, research, and education needed to help meet local, national and global oral health objectives.

Inter-school Collaborative Programs

The School of Dental Medicine has partnered with a number of programs at the University of Pittsburgh in order to offer its students the opportunity to explore other academic areas that complement their education in dental medicine. The following inter-school masters level programs are also available to students while they are enrolled in dental school:

  • Multidisciplinary Masters of Public Health
  • Master of Studies in Law
  • Master of Education, Higher Education Administration
  • Master of Education, Research Methodology
  • Graduate Certificate in Geriatric Dentistry

Clinical Centers

Center for Patients with Special Needs

Since the early 1970s, the School of Dental Medicine has served as a  regional provider to patients with special needs. The dental school was among the pioneers in education of special needs dentistry with the first independent Department of Anesthesiology in U.S. dental schools and a clinic for children with disabilities established in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

In 2008, the School of Dental Medicine dedicated a newly renovated space as the Center for Patients with Special Needs, centralizing and increasing the capacity for the treatment of patients who were previously treated throughout clinics in the Department of Pediatric  Dentistry, the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program, and the Dental Hygiene Program.

The new center is an effort in the making since 2001. As established by Dean Thomas W. Braun, special needs dentistry is a chief priority of the School of Dental Medicine. This effort is aimed at expanding the pool of trained dental providers as well as making special needs dental care more widely available.

Multidisciplinary Implant Center

The school’s Multidisciplinary Implant Center which was established in 2003 recently relocated to a newly renovated space on the first floor of Salk Hall Annex. The center’s square footage has increased to 2,900 square feet with nine chairs including two full surgical suites. This space accommodates more patients and enables the school to expand its clinical services as well as educational and research opportunities.

The center is a major collaboration among several departments at the School of Dental Medicine to create an atmosphere that supports learning about implant dentistry on many levels. Specialty residents in anesthesiology, periodontics, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, and advanced education in general dentistry are all involved at the center. This network of different specialties presents an ideal atmosphere for the exposure and training of both predoctoral dental hygiene students, and residents. The center’s purpose is threefold, including patient care, teaching, and research.

The new center is currently a rotation stop for all third-year predoctoral students. It also is the site for continuing dental education courses in implantology.

Several faculty members at the center are collaborating with research projects in genetic and tissue engineering with the intent of implementing benchtop research for clinical practice.

Research Centers

Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics

The major research focus of the center is identifying genes that contribute to complex human phenotypes, primarily those involved in craniofacial and dental disorders. Such studies involve molecular and statistical genetic approaches for gene mapping and identification, as well as investigations into phenotype delineation and behavioral and epidemiological factors contributing to each disorder.

Center for Craniofacial Regeneration

The Center for Craniofacial Regeneration was established to develop tissue engineering-based treatments for wounds and defects of the face and skull that restore function as well as appearance. The tissues of the face and skull are many and complex. Accordingly, the center’s team represents many disciplines, and is rooted in the many achievements by University of Pittsburgh researchers in tissue regeneration and biomaterial development.

Center for Dental Informatics

The Center for Dental Informatics (CDI) conducts research on computer applications in dental practice, education, and research. The center is currently investigating how dental information can be  represented better and more completely on computers, how dentists could talk to the computer to enter clinical information, and how a 3-Dmodel of the patient could be integrated into electronic records. In addition, the center deploying our Digital Vita project as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Digital Vita is a system to help scientists at Pitt find experts and collaborators among the more than 2,500 research scientists at the Health Science Center. The center continues to recruit for the Dental Informatics Training Program, which educates dentists and others in information science, computer science, and health information technology.

Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia

Appalachia has the largest burden of oral health problems per capita in the United States. Furthermore, health disparities in oral health outcomes resulting from differences in socioeconomic status occur. The goal of the center is to identify factors that lead to oral health disparities in children and families in Appalachia. These factors may include genes, microbes, behavior, family interactions or community characteristics. The center's primary study is to identify targets for interventions and create effective interventions to reduce oral health disparities in this population.

Dental Registry and DNA Repository

The Dental Registry and DNA Repository (DRDR) is the first-known center of its kind to collect DNA samples paired with anonymous dental records for the purpose of assisting genetics research. The Dental Registry and DNA Repository is revolutionary because it eliminates the need for further Institutional Review Board (IRB) evaluations for projects seeking to use data from the registry. Furthermore, the DRDR will allow the clinical faculty to engage in research activities and to increase the external funding for research at the School of Dental Medicine.

By obtaining clinical information and biological samples from willing patients treated at the clinics throughout the school, the DRDR can support research in the areas of oral cancer, cleft lip and/or palate, periodontal disease, and caries.


The University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine, is fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).