Endodontics is the specific study of the dental pulp and tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. Endodontic treatment is needed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. An endodontist is a specialized dentist that carefully cleans the canal space and seals it. The endodontic residents treat patients, conduct research and teach undergraduate students.
The UConn School of Dental Medicine has been conducting a degree-granting program and a certificate program in endodontics since 1971. A three-year, full‑time clinical program commences in the beginning of July each year and leads to a Certificate of Proficiency in Endodontics and eligibility for the certification process by the American Board of Endodontics. Students may enroll in a combined program leading to a Master of Dental Science degree (three years), or an interdepartmental program leading to a Certificate of Proficiency in Endodontics and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Sciences (five years plus).
The three-year clinical program is designed to prepare the student for the practice of endodontics. Enrollment in the Master of Dental Science Degree program is an interdepartmental program leading to the degree of Master of Dental Science. The program offers an opportunity for study and research in dental science, basic life sciences, and the allied health fields.
The intent of the combined Endodontic Certificate/Ph.D. degree program is to prepare the student for a career in education and research. The program is designed to develop outstanding clinicians/scientists in basic biomedical, behavioral and clinical oral health research.
The Endodontic Graduate Program has the following components:
- Patient care
- Interdepartmental didactics
- Intradepartmental didactics
The Endodontic Graduate Program adheres to the American Dental Association Commission of Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Endodontics to provide graduates qualifications to meet the eligibility requirements of the American Board of Endodontics certification examination. In the education of endodontic residents, biological foundations of endodontic practice will be emphasized, and in patient care, the pursuit of excellence will be the ultimate aim. Endodontic residents will gain experience in the generation of knowledge by their required research projects. They will gain experience in transferring knowledge by instruction and evaluation of dental students. Acceptance of qualified candidates for careers in academic endodontics and research will be fostered. Service through teaching, provision of help for dental students, and students of other specialty programs are emphasized.
The overall goal of the program is to provide a learning environment to give the student opportunities to develop as a specialist.
The following interdepartmental didactic courses are offered in the first year:
- Functional Oral Anatomy
- Advanced Oral Histology
- General Pathology
- Advanced Oral Pathology
- Oral Microbiology and Infections
Other mandatory courses include:
- Epidemiology of Oral Disease
- Dental Pharmaco-therapeutics
- Biostatistics, Scientific Writing
- Research Methods in Epidemiology
- Biomaterials for Dental Graduates (which are offered in alternate years and can be taken in the second or third year)
All endodontic residents must complete all of the above courses with a grade of S (satisfactory). A number of these courses may be taken for credit as part of the requirements for combined programs. The Graduate School requirement for the Masters degree, however, is a minimum of 15 credits at no less than a 3.0 (B) average (Refer to Requirements and Procedures of the Master of Dental Science Degree).
Intra-departmental didactics consist of the following
- Basic Graduate Endodontics/Graduate Literature Review Seminars
- Current Literature Review Seminars
- Treatment Plan Case Conferences/Case Presentations
- Endodontic Topics
Patient care includes all aspects of endodontic diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. Treatment is performed in conjunction with other dental specialties and referring general dentists. Upon completion of the program, endodontic residents must be proficient in:
- endodontic treatment of anterior, premolar, and molar teeth
- differential diagnosis of odontogenic pain
- diagnosis and management of endodontic emergencies including pain and/or swelling
- complex isolation including gingivectomy procedures
- endodontic re-treatments, including removal of posts, silver cones, paste, and other root fillings and broken instruments
- treatment through existing restorations
- root canal ledge corrections
- surgical procedures including incision and drainage, diagnostic flap, root-end resection, root-end filling, root resection, obtaining biopsy specimen, and perforation repair
- management of patients with immature apex, pediatric patients, endodontic-periodontic, and endodontic-orthodontic patients
- management of traumatized patients, physically and mentally handicapped, and other systemically compromised patients
- implants, intentional replantation, auto-transplantation, splinting procedure, intra-radicular restorations (including post preparation), and core build-up
- bleaching and fabrication of esthetic temporary crowns
The endodontic residents gain experience and become familiar with crown lengthening procedures and performing endodontic procedures in the operating room. The residents are expected to manage all patients referred to them for treatment and record their clinical activities (including diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and follow-up) in the endodontic electronic patient record. Each resident must also develop a case portfolio of all of their cases in hard copies. Ten of each resident's cases need to be prepared according to the American Board of Endodontics format and submitted to the program director before graduation. Endodontic faculty members are available for clinical supervision and consultation at all times and all completed cases are reviewed individually by at least one endodontic faculty member during scheduled Case Review sessions.
All endodontic residents are required to engage in research. Their research activity is determined by their career goals and their personal aspirations as well as the endodontic program they enroll in.
The research requirements of those who are in the Endodontic Certificate/Master of Dental Science Program are determined by a committee that is comprised of a major advisor and associate advisors who include the Endodontic Program Director. It is the responsibility of the endodontic resident in the combined Certificate/Master of Dental Science Program to read the Master of Dental Science Program Manual and comply fully with its contents and guidelines. Endodontic residents’ research requirements include: successful completion of the research project; submission of an abstract for presentation in a state, national, or international professional meeting (e.g., meetings of the American Association of Endodontists or the American Association for Dental Research) before September of the final year; and preparation of a manuscript ready for submission to a peer reviewed journal.
Those enrolled in master’s combined programs are encouraged to submit a grant proposal and must successfully defend their thesis in a formal meeting. A selected number of abstracts will be submitted for presentation and support will be provided for presentation of accepted abstracts. Formal meetings for evaluation of the student's research progress are periodically scheduled that include the student and the advisors and the proceedings of these meetings are maintained in the student's personnel record.
The research requirements of those who are in the Endodontic Certificate Program are determined by the student's career goals and their personal aspirations. They are required, however, to initiate or take part in a departmental research project under supervision of a faculty member and present their materials, methods, and conclusions in a manuscript that is suitable for publication. Submission of grant proposals, presentation of research results in professional meetings, publication of abstracts/articles are encouraged and supported.
As a part of the requirements mandated by the American Dental Association, all endodontic residents are expected to gain experience in clinical and didactic instruction and be familiar with teaching methodology. Thus, they give formal presentations to the faculty and fellow students and participate in preclinical and clinical teaching of endodontics to the predoctoral dental students.
Endodontic resident teaching is scheduled in the second and/or third year in the three-year program. Teaching should comprise ten percent of the resident's time (about four hours per week) after the first year of training.
Endodontic residents are required to prepare themselves for teaching by reviewing the predoctoral syllabi and familiarize themselves with current predoctoral student clinical requirements and their clinic chart, electronic record, and clinical evaluation procedures. Teaching consists of scheduled assignments in predoctoral laboratory courses and predoctoral endodontic clinic. The teaching starts in the beginning of the second academic year of the program (after participation in the teaching methodology seminar and faculty evaluation calibration exercise) and continues in the third year.
Endodontic residents take part in student clinical evaluation and are authorized to evaluate and grade predoctoral students. They, however, do not evaluate student test cases (only endodontic faculty members are authorized to evaluate predoctoral test cases). Endodontic residents are always scheduled with a faculty member in each teaching session and the faculty member monitors their teaching.
Endodontic residents are not assigned to teach other endodontic residents, however informal clinical consultations between endodontic residents are allowed. The program director evaluates endodontic resident teaching based on their competency in teaching methodology and observation of their teaching performance in the pre-clinic and clinic.
Admission requirements include the following:
- Completed application form.
- $75 application fee payable to UConn Health Center.
- Transcripts from all undergraduate and professional schools.
- Three letters of recommendation and certificate of class standing.
- TOEFL with a minimum score of 550 for paper-based exam or 79 for computer-based exam if the applicant's native language is other than English.
- National Dental Board examination scores are required from graduates of United States and Canadian dental schools.
- Application to the Ph.D. program requires GRE scores and a separate additional application form, with a separate application deadline of December 15.
The application deadline is August 1 of the year preceding July matriculation.
- For more information, see the Resident Salaries, Stipends, Fees and Tuition page and the Financial Aid and Budget page.
The Division of Endodontology offers a one-year Fellowship Program that is available to graduates of the UConn Endodontic Certificate Program. Please submit the completed Fellowship Program application form to the address listed below.
Larz S.W. Spångberg
William E. Dowden
Assistant Professor Emeritus
Division of Endodontology
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue, MC 1715
Farmington, CT 06030