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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 23, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Dental Medicine

Established in 1896, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine has been educating students to take their places among the best dental practitioners, researchers and educators in our region, across the country, and even around the world. We are one of six Schools of Health Sciences at the University and are the only school to manage our own clinic. Our accomplishments reflect the dedication and success of each member of the School of Dental Medicine family. 

We are proud of our long tradition as innovators in dental medicine. Our first female student was admitted 117 years ago, and today more than half of our vibrant and diverse first-year pre-doctoral class are women. We nurture in our students a strong foundation in the biological, behavioral and clinical sciences 
and a belief in the importance of professionalism and life-long learning.
Half a century ago we pioneered the specialty dental care that we now deliver in our fully equipped Center for Patients with Special Needs. The School’s general dental clinics and 11 specialty clinics play an integral role in improving the oral health of the patient population of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Some patients travel hundreds of miles to access the high-quality care our clinics provide every day.

Our researchers expand the horizons of knowledge and are internationally renowned for their groundbreaking developments in the areas of craniofacial genetics and craniofacial regeneration. We are identifying genes that contribute to complex human phenotypes, and are using tissue engineering to heal wounds and restore function and appearance to defects of the face and skull.
Every day, the positive contributions of our faculty, staff, residents and students-the Pitt Dental Medicine family-demonstrate their commitment to our mission of advancing the future of dental medicine through teaching, research and service.

Degree Programs

Along with several specialized degree programs, degrees offered at the School of Dental Medicine include the doctor of dental medicine (DMD); doctor of philosophy (PhD); master of science (MS); master of public health (MPH) offered in conjunction with the Graduate School of Public Health; and bachelor of science (BS).

The four-year Predoctoral (DMD) Program   prepares students to provide comprehensive care to a diverse patient population. The competency-based curriculum emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention, and prepares students to provide individualized treatments using the best scientific evidence available. Graduates are equipped to practice as independent, entry-level general practitioners. 

The Advanced Standing (DMD) Program   places qualified graduates of foreign dental schools as third-year dental students. These students are integrated into the program and complete the third- and fourth-years of the pre doctoral curriculum with the rest of the class. 

The Oral Biology Program (MS and PhD)   encompasses the study of fundamental biological phenomena related to the development, structure, and function of the craniofacial region as well as the development of new therapies, biomaterials, and diagnostic tools for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the craniofacial area with the aim of improving health. Current research focuses involve craniofacial regeneration and genetics. 

The School of Dental Medicine offers advanced residency certificate and Master of Dental Medicine degree programs  in each of the full array of dental specialties.

In collaboration with Pitt Public Health, the four-year DMD/MPH in dental public health offers customizable course selection with a special emphasis on oral health-specific public health issues. 

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine’s Dental Hygiene Program provides students a unique academic environment where they can earn either an Associate of Science or a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene.   The intreprofessional educational experiences within the school’s specialty dental clinics and the University-based hospitals, in conjunction with didactic, community outreach, and research activities, affords the delivery of high-quality education.To learn more about the Dental Hygiene Program, please visit the Pitt Undergraduate Catalog.

General Dentistry and Specialty Clinics

The School of Dental Medicine provides clinical education and patient care through 15 dental clinics encompassing general dentistry, anesthesiology, special needs, emergency, endodontics, implants, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and preventive dentistry, dental hygiene, endodontics, prosthodontics, radiology, and restorative dentistry/comprehensive care. 

Clinical Centers
The Multidisciplinary Implant Center focuses on patient care, teaching, and research related to the treatment of tooth loss and the functional bone and soft tissue deficits that can follow tooth loss. 
The Center for Patients with Special Needs was established by Dean Thomas W. Braun as a school priority to centralize and increase treatment capacity for patients with physical, developmental, neurological, and intellectual disabilities. 
University Dental Health Services (UDHS) is a legally separate nonprofit practice plan that is closely affiliated with the School of Dental Medicine. UDHS providers are full- or part-time faculty members, many of whom are board-certified specialists and nationally recognized experts in their respective fields. 

Research Strengths

Research efforts include dental and craniofacial genetics, craniofacial anomalies, caries, periodontal disease, pharmacology, pain control, tissue engineering, craniofacial regeneration, educational research, informatics, and implantology.
The School of Dental Medicine is undertaking investigations to identify genes that contribute to complex human phenotypes, primarily those involved in dental and craniofacial disorders, including behavioral and epidemiological factors. New territory is being charted to develop the first-known collection of DNA samples paired with anonymized dental records to support genetics research. 
Tissue engineering-based approaches are being developed to treat complex multi-structural wounds and defects of the face and skull in a way that restores both function and appearance. The school is at the forefront of research to develop relevant translational treatment solutions usable by practicing dentists. 
The School of Dental Medicine is identifying factors that lead to oral health disparities in children and families in Appalachia. Oral public health research leads to improved interventions, understanding, and advancements for the future of oral health education and treatment. 


For the 2016 -17 academic year, the School of Dental Medicine accepted 80 incoming first professional degree or doctor of dental medicine students from a pool of 2,003 applicants. Forty-four percent of the 315 students enrolled in the doctoral program are women. There are 63 students in the dental hygiene certificate program and 27 in the bachelor of science in dental hygiene program. The School of Dental Medicine has 97 full-time, 107 part-time, 115 adjunct, and 16 emeritus faculty members. 


The mission of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is to improve oral health through Teaching, Research and Service:

  • Teaching a new generation of clinicians to deliver oral health care with skill and compassion
  • Research that expands the boundaries of our knowledge and builds on discoveries to enhance human life
  • Service to the diverse community of patients who entrust themselves to our care


The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine will be a diverse, welcoming and supportive community widely recognized for excellence and leadership in the improvement of oral health.

  • We will train our students to care for patients skillfully, professionally, and compassionately; to treat each patient with respect and kindness; and to be aware at all times of the privilege and responsibility of being entrusted with the care of another human being. We will model evidence-based treatment and the importance of life-long learning. 
  • We will actively contribute to the mission of the University of Pittsburgh to be a leading research institution, broadening the scientific foundations of dental and craniofacial medicine and translating new knowledge into life-enhancing treatments for people everywhere. 
  • We will be known for our clinical expertise and serve as a regional resource to which our neighbors will turn for comprehensive care. We will use the best techniques and current technologies to create optimal outcomes for our patients. 
  • We will maintain a strong and enduring connection with our alumni 
to help ensure our School’s success for generations to come. 
Our alumni will carry on our mission through clinical excellence, service 
to the dental profession, and generous outreach to people in need. 


  • Service: Providing exemplary service to our students, faculty, patients, and society
  • Passion for Excellence: Continuously striving to achieve the highest level of excellence in education, research, and service
  • Professionalism and Integrity: Adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards of our profession
  • Leadership: Serving as role models and mentors to students, faculty, and staff to shape the future of oral health care
  • Collaboration: Embracing a team approach to accomplish shared goals
  • Humanism: Respecting the contributions of each person within the School of Dental Medicine family to foster an environment of trust, safety, and fairness

School of Dental Medicine Faculty

School of Dental Medicine Full-time Faculty  

Other Courses

    Predoctoral (DMD) Program

    Go to information for this department.


    Other Courses

      Advanced Standing (DMD) Program

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        Advanced Dental Education and Residency Programs

        Go to information for this department.

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          Oral Biology Program (MS and PhD)

          Go to information for this department.

          Other Courses

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