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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 14, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Dental Anesthesiology Certificate

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The Department of Dental Anesthesiology directs and coordinates the three-year, CODA accredited, dental anesthesiology residency program. The goal of this program is to prepare dentists to manage pain and anxiety in adult, pediatric and special needs patients by using pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic techniques.  A significant portion of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Residency Program in Dental Anesthesiology is a unit of the medical anesthesiology residency program, administered through the UPMC Medical Education Program (UPMC-MEP). At the conclusion of the program, the dentist will earn a certificate in dental anesthesiology and be proficient in providing all levels of anesthesia services for ambulatory patients undergoing a variety of medical and dental procedures.
A maximum of four dental anesthesiology residents are selected each year. They have the same responsibilities and are expected to meet the same competencies as medical residents. Residents in dental anesthesiology have standard postgraduate salaries and benefits.       

Residents in the Dental Anesthesiology Residency Program may elect to pursue a master of dental science degree (MDS) alongside their certificate. Eligible residents who elect this option must pass the Master of Dental Science Entrance Examination and enroll in the tract with the Pitt Registrar’s Office. Please talk with the dental residency program administrator for details.    

Program Description by Year

The first year of the resident’s clinical experience begins at the dental school with the resident attending all introductory courses and conferences in anesthesiology intended for post-graduate first-year residents. The dental resident becomes familiar with the anesthetic management of patients undergoing an array of dental procedures, including pediatric, special needs, oral surgery and implant surgery. Within this first year, one month, each, is devoted to training in Internal Medicine,  Intensive Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Cardiology.

The second and third years of the residency continue with rotations through UPMC Presbyterian and Montifiore Hospitals, UPMC St. Margaret’s, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. During this rotation cycle, residents will participate in the anesthetic management of patients undergoing general surgery, complex head and neck procedures, orthopedic surgery, and transplantation operations.  Three months at UPMC St. Margaret’s will provide experience in a high-paced operating room that prepares the resident for private practice. Regional anesthesia and advanced pain management techniques are also developed. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC offers a diversity of experiences in managing the anesthetic requirements of children of all physical sizes and ages who are undergoing a wide variety of surgical procedures. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC gives the resident an opportunity to learn about epidural and spinal anesthesia techniques intended for obstetric procedures along with general surgery experience in the hospital operating rooms. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC utilizes an after-hours call schedule. The resident serves at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine one day per week in the winter months, providing clinical care and lectures in the management of medical emergencies in the dental setting to post-graduate dental specialty students.

During the final three months, residents devote time to completing research projects, providing clinical anesthesia care, and teaching concepts of outpatient anesthesia to pre-doctoral students.

A focus of the training includes developing skills in the management of special needs patients receiving dental care. The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine has an active Center for Patients with Special Needs that provides the resident with a unique opportunity to provide anesthesia services to this underserved population. Residents will take part in regular journal reviews of current literature and a structured lecture series in anesthesiology. In addition, residents are expected to attend at least one national conference per year and initiate work on a mentored clinical research project.

The applicant must submit the American Dental Education Association Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS) application and register for the Match Program.

Learn more about requirements and application to the program by visiting


The advanced education in general dentistry 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 web address is The Commission on Dental Accreditation has accredited the postdoctoral program in advanced education in general dentistry. However, this education area is not one of the American Dental Association (ADA) recognized dental specialty areas. Therefore, dentists graduating from this program cannot announce that they are specialists, as recognized by the American Dental Association.

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