Penn Dental Medicine

Academic Programs & Admissions

Program Requirements for Certificate in Prosthodontics

The curriculum has been designed according to the to accreditation standards which dictate that at least 60% of the educational experience must be devoted to patient contact and laboratory procedures and at least 30% to didactic instruction and research. Based on that, the program’s curriculum consists of the follow components:


Residents of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Prosthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine have the opportunity to see and treat patients with a variety of complex needs in state-of-the-art clinical faculties. The Program’s clinical activities are held in three treatment centers/clinics:

  • The Advanced Prosthodontics Clinical Center (APCC) inside Penn Dental Medicine on the third floor Robert Schattner Center – The APCC is the first prosthodontic clinic fully equipped with dental microscopes. Restorative and surgical procedures will be performed supervised by experienced prosthodontic faculty members.
  • The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Philadelphia VA Medical Center
  • The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (for the Maxillofacial rotation)
    The goal of the off-site rotations is to maximize the learning clinical experience by exposing the residents to diverse clinical settings and patients’ pools.


The techniques will include fixed, removable, implant and digital prosthodontics; occlusion; and CAD/CAM techniques. The Penn Dental Medicine CAD/CAM Center facilities and equipment will prepare the students/residents to experience the potentials of digital dentistry in prosthodontics and become competent in digital laboratory workflow.

Teaching in predoctoral courses/clinic (as faculty or lecturer)

The goal of teaching in predoctoral courses is to give the student/resident experience in dental teaching at the undergraduate level. The objective of this experience is to provide exposure to the decision making process where the student/resident is the final authority rather than the student. An additional objective is to allow the student/resident to be exposed to standardized methods of teaching/learning and foster an interest in academics.


The research component of the program is through the Master of Science in Oral Biology program.


The courses are presented by means of lecture, seminar, literature review, demonstration and laboratory. They are spread-out throughout the three-year long specialty program and they are part of the prosthodontic certificate program, the master’s degree program, and the core curriculum for basic sciences.

Core Graduate Dental Education Curriculum

Anatomy of the Head and Neck

Objectives: The purpose of this lecture series is to review the principal anatomy comprising the stomatognathic system. The lectures build on the knowledge of head and neck anatomy acquired in dental school and integrates clinical relevance to this important subject. Slide presentations are employed to teach the anatomical structures of the major head and neck morphologic systems. The course focuses on the clinically pertinent aspects of the basic anatomy. Aspects of anatomy that are vital to patient care are emphasized. The course reviews common disorders pertaining to head and neck anatomy, their diagnosis and management. Thus, a broad perspective of the major anatomical points and their functional importance is obtained. A final essay examination is employed to assess competence and knowledge of materials presented.

Biostatistics and Research Methodology

Objectives: To provide a sufficiently in-depth introduction to statistics and the concepts of probability so that students can: 1. review and critically evaluate the use of statistics in the research literature. 2. set up and carry out statistical tests on their own data. 3. communicate effectively with statisticians and biometricians.

Clinical Therapeutics

Objectives: 1. To gain an in-depth knowledge of therapeutic agents commonly employed in dental practice, including local anesthetic, sedative-hypnotic analgesia, and antibiotic drugs. 2. To explore evidence-based research as it relates to drug interaction in dental practice. 3. To learn how to prescribe and administer drugs to medically complex patients.

Microbiology (web based)

Objectives: The educational objective of the Microbiology component of the core curriculum is to provide the students an updated overview of several current broad areas of oral microbiology important to practicing dentists. After taking this course the students should understand: 1. the general differences between oral bacteria, viruses and their own cells 2. how microbiology testing services separate and identify certain microbial species in dental plaque and crevicular fluid samples 3. how the commonly used antibiotics control microbial infections 4. how bacteria develop resistances to the commonly used antibiotics 5. the role of oral bacteria in the development of human dental plaque 6. the current theories of caries formation 7. the role of oral bacteria in periodontal diseases 8. the role of human immune response in periodontal diseases 9. the biology of HIV 10. the major clinical manifestations of AIDS

Biology of Pulp/Dentin Complex Microcirculation

Objectives: 1. To give the student an understanding of the normal and abnormal biology of the dentin-pulp complex. 2. To provide the student with fundamental information on clinically related subjects such as pain control and pulp capping procedures. 3. To provide the student with a general knowledge of the literature related to pulp biology. 4. To review the various physiological methods of investigating pulpal tissue.

Congenital Craniofacial Anomalies/ Embryology

Objectives: To make the students aware of the most current information about congenital craniofacial anomalies, and to be able to develop their specialty dental treatment plans with consideration for these anomalies.

Biochemistry of Bone: A Master Gene of Bone Formation

Objectives: 1. To introduce students to recent scientific developments concerning the molecular and genetic regulation of osteogenesis and bone development. 2. To show how recent advances at the fundamental level can be used to further our understanding of clinical disease. 3. To use web-based information to explore the bone literature-base. 4. To review and extend students’ understanding of basic concepts in molecular biology.

Oral Medicine

Objectives: To have fundamental knowledge and competency in the following: 1.Obtain an adequate history from the patient with oral mucosal disease. 2. Formulate a differential diagnosis regarding oral mucosal disease. 3. Understand at a basic level the pathophysiology regarding each specific disorder named in the course outline. 4. Understand common treatment regimens regarding each specific disorder.

Osteoimmunology (web based)

Objectives: To provide students with a basic understanding of the biologic principles involved in osteoimmunology. These include an understanding of the immune response, the osteoclast and osteoblast, the effect of immune cells on osteoblasts and osteoclasts, osteoblast signaling pathways, interactions among bone cells, and the effect of the immune system on clinically important aspects of bone biology including osteoporosis, arthritis, fracture healing, periodontitis, lesions of endodontic origin and orthodontic tooth movement.


Objectives: At the end of the lecture series, the graduate students should be able to: 1. Understand the basic radiographic anatomy of the maxilla, mandible, teeth and supporting tissues using plain intraoral films, computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. 2. Differentiate between paralleling and bisecting angle techniques as used in intraoral radiography and be able to use either of the techniques in various clinical situations. 3. Understand the concepts of standardization in terms of film position and tube position to be able to use similar techniques for clinical research. 4. Understand the concepts in advanced radiophysics, in particular the modern designs in the construction of x-ray tubes and utilization of alternating current and direct current in the production of x-rays 5. Understand the principles of radiobiology and protection, including the safety of the operator and patient, maximum permissible doses, and shielding calculations for operatories. 6. Use the principles of radiographic interpretation for identification and differentiation of all bony lesions, changes in the densities of bone, and bone regeneration. 7. Know the different types of radiographic assessment for implant placement, and understand the causes of implant failure as related to the bone quality. 8. Understand the panoramic anatomy and different types of tomography. 9. Know the concepts of digital radiology including the charged couple devices and the active pixel sensors used commonly in image capture and understand the resolution differences between the plain films and digital images. 10. Be knowledgeable of other extraoral radiographic techniques like sialography, arthrography and radionuclide imaging

Research Methology

Objectives: To acquaint the student with research technology used in several basic science laboratories including: 1. chromatography 2. radio-immune assays 3. electron microscopy To introduce the student to research methodology used in several basic science laboratories including: 1. animal paradigms for pain 2. culturing techniques for viruses 3. genetic sequencing and mapping 4. computer simulation of molecules 5. clinical evaluation of dental agents 6. molecular methods for identification of oral microorganisms

Wound Healing (web based)

Objectives: 1. Discuss the early cellular events following the tissue surgery. 2. Discuss the role and significance of inflammatory response in wound healing. 3. Discuss the granulation tissue derived from each different cell of tooth supportive tissues. 4. Discuss the concept of regeneration versus repair. 5. Discuss the role of growth factors and cytokines in cell differentiation and expression.

Practice Management

Objectives: This background material presents information in the context of an integrated practice management curriculum. The background material also presents suggested topics for discussion exercises and assignments, in addition to specialty topics given within the residency program curriculum by trained faculty.


Objectives: Pathology is a course that will apply what students have already learned to the study of disease. It is an essential link between the basic and clinical sciences concerned with the mechanisms of disease (e.g., inflammation, neoplasia, and immunopathology) and the disease processes that students will encounter during their careers in dentistry. While the emphasis will be on oral pathology, one must also be familiar with systemic diseases that may impact on the health of the patients.

Prosthodontic Certificate Program Courses

Introduction to Advanced Fixed and Digital Prosthodontics

Introduction to Advanced Removable Prosthodontics

Literature Review Seminar

Treatment Plan Seminar

Advanced Implantology Seminar

Maxillofacial Prosthodontics

Geriatric Dentistry

Interdisciplinary Seminar/ Grand Rounds/ Penn Conference

This course is in the form of a monthly Penn conference for all residents of graduate specialty programs at PDM. Each conference session includes residents’ presentations on treatment of patients with complex dental needs that require a multi-disciplinary approach, followed by open discussion with all involved specialties as panel. This conference is designed to provide students/residents with an understanding of the sequential management of multidisciplinary cases from a diagnostic and treatment basis. One graduate specialty program has the primary responsibility of leading and organizing each conference.

The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030