Advanced Education & Residency Program in Periodontics

Program Description

The Pitt Dental Medicine Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry residency program centers on a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment planning and patient care emphasizing collaboration with other treatment centers. The program's goal is to provide optimal outcomes for patients by initiating appropriate and varied treatment strategies. The full spectrum of currently available biological materials is used to ensure the regeneration of bone and soft tissue around teeth and in site development for implant placement. We routinely utilize CBCT and digital workflows to provide optimal diagnostics, planning and execution of routine and complicated cases. The program also offers a wide range of sedation services for medically compromised and anxious patients through our department and in concert with the department of anesthesiology.

Our program aims to continue developing basic and clinical research in dental implantology, novel bone regenerative technologies and the development of novel approaches to treat periodontal disease by modulating the immune system. We are working on new therapies to improve patient outcomes and bring clinical research into clinical practice with cutting-edge treatment modalities. Some of our ongoing projects include: development of periodontal therapies by regulating the immune response; development of novel magnesium-related materials for bone regeneration; and assessment of novel periodontal grafting material compared to the standard of care. All residents are encouraged to pursue research projects and have contributed to national and international meetings for organizations in their specialty.

Each resident is exposed to all periodontal diagnostics and therapies and is expected to be competent in all phases of clinical periodontal care. During their program, residents in periodontics are supervised and taught by board-certified periodontists and prosthodontists. A resource for both dentists and patients throughout the Pittsburgh region, our services are characterized by the integration of innovative techniques with conservative treatment approaches resulting in excellent treatment outcomes and a high standard of quality care. 

The residency in periodontics is a three-year certificate program with the option of pursuing a Masters in Dental Science (MDS) concurrent with the certificate program. Three residents are accepted annually for the three-year program.

Periodontal services offered in the Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry Department include:

  • Scaling and root planing
  • Extractions
  • Host modulation therapy and chemotherapeutics
  • Gingival flap and debridement
  • Osseous surgery and regeneration of bony defects
  • Free-gingival graft
  • Connective tissue graft for root coverage
  • Treatment of peri-implantitis

Pre-prosthetic and implant services

  • Crown elongation (functional and aesthetic)
  • Ridge augmentation
  • Guided bone regeneration
  • Implant placement
  • Sinus elevation

Through their curriculum, residents in periodontics are prepared for board certification and they are encouraged to participate in the American Academy of Periodontology board certification process which begins post graduation.

If you are a dentist and would like to refer a patient to our Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry department, please visit our Referral page for more information.

Program Requirements

The residency in periodontics is a three-year certificate program. Each resident is exposed to all periodontal diagnostics and therapies and is expected to be competent in all phases of clinical periodontal care. All residents are encouraged to participate in the American Academy of Periodontology board certification process, and to graduate as board-certified periodontist. A master's degree option is available to residents in the Department of Periodontics. Three residents are accepted annually for the three-year program.

Residents in the department are encouraged to pursue research projects and have contributed to national and international meetings for organizations in their specialty. Several are enrolled in the master's degree program in public health, or the master's degree in dental science.

Application Process

Applications to the residency program are accepted through the ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) and Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (MATCH).  All residents must be graduates of an accredited U.S. or Canadian dental school. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.

Application Deadline

The department maintains an annual admissions deadline of August 15.

Benefits, Stipend, Tuition & Fees

All residents receive a yearly stipend and are responsible to pay program costs, which include tuition, instruments, University fees, departmental professional fees, books, and supplies.

Periodontics Research

Research in our Periodontics department focuses on cutting-edge clinical procedures that will ultimately improve patient quality of life. Our researchers represent some of the best dentist-scientists working in the field, and they collaborate with fellow investigators nationally and internationally and across diverse disciplines. Our department exists as a center of excellence providing state-of-the-art periodontal and implant clinical therapies while exploring the possibilities for enhanced treatment technologies, procedures and strategies.

Areas of research focus

  • Bone and dentin tissue engineering
  • Bone tissue regeneration through novel resorbable scaffold
  • Polymer magnesium periodontal membranes
  • Resorbable metal fixation devices
  • Polymer/magnesium composite scaffold to enhance bone regeneration
  • Biomineralization 
  • Immuno-modulation
  • Biodegradable materials
  • Load-bearing bone fixation devices
  • Pulp tissue regeneration
  • Using biomaterials to improve endodontic therapies
  • Pre-clinical testing devices for FDA approval 

The advanced dental education in periodontics program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653, or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission's standards for periodontics can be found at the following address: Accreditation Standards for Advanced Dental Education Programs in Periodontics. The Commission on Dental Accreditation has accredited the  advanced education in periodontics program with no reporting requirements at the last site visit in May 2017.