General Practice Residency (GPR)
Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Programs (2016-2017)

Co-Sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and The University of Alabama Hospital
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama



The General Practice Residency (GPR) and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) merged in July of 2000 to form a single program known as the General Dental Residency (GDR). This is a two-track program with a GPR track with four 4 residents and an AEGD track with 2 residents. Both programs share clinical facilities, have the same auxiliary staff, utilize the same attending faculty and share didactic lectures. All 6 GDR residents rotate in OMFS for 6 weeks divided into two three week rotations; Emergency Medicine for 2 weeks; 2 weeks in Otolaryngology; 1 week in Radiation/Oncology and have a 1 week elective rotation in a medical or dental specialty. The 4 GPR track residents rotate in Anesthesia for 2 weeks and the AEGD track residents rotate in Pediatric Dentistry for 2 weeks. We believe this merger emphasizes the strengths of both programs – comprehensive general dentistry on patients with complex medical histories. A second year in either program is offered each year for one resident. At the successful completion of the GDR program each resident will receive either a GPR certificate or an AEGD certificate depending upon the track selected.



The General Dental Residency (GDR) Program is a postdoctoral educational program designed to provide essential skills, attitudes, and abilities related to the contemporary practice of advanced general dentistry, with emphasis on total patient care. The program provides the recent graduate the opportunity to augment his/her knowledge of oral disease and his/her diagnostic and therapeutic skills in dentistry. Treatment of oral disease in the medically complex patient and/or hospitalized patient is emphasized. A private practice environment is maintained throughout the program to assist the recent dental school graduate in the transition from academics to “real world dentistry”.


Goals and Objectives

The formal goals and objectives are:

  1. Provide high quality comprehensive general dental care and resident education that is beyond that achieved as an undergraduate for healthy and medically compromised patients, integrating all phases of dentistry in providing that care.
  2. Make sound decisions in examination, diagnosis, treatment and planning and decision-making during the course of patient treatment, incorporating good patient and staff management principles.
  3. Act as the primary dental care provider for healthy and medically compromised patients; coordinate the service of dental specialists and other health care professionals.
  4. Function efficiently in a hospital setting, providing care for individuals with complex medical and social backgrounds.
  5. Understand the oral health needs of communities and engage in community service.
  6. Demonstrate the application and principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, patient care and practice management.

Specific Program Objectives

Operative dentistry:
Restore intra and extra coronal defects in primary and permanent teeth, including endodontically treated teeth, with a range of materials and methods.

Replacement of teeth:
Treat the partially edentulous patient with fixed, removable and/or implant supported prostheses; treat the completely edentulous patient with removable and/or implant supported prostheses.

Periodontal therapy:
Diagnose and treat mild to moderate periodontal disease using non-surgical and surgical methods, evaluating the results of periodontal treatment.
Manage advanced periodontal disease and periodontal maintenance.

Endodontic therapy:
Diagnose and treat pain of pulpal origin by performing non-surgical endodontic therapy in the primary and permanent dentition.

Oral surgery:
Perform non-surgical and surgical extractions. Function efficiently in an operating room environment.

Dental emergencies:
Evaluate and treat patients with dental emergencies, including post-operative complications from dental treatment, pain, infection and/or trauma.

Pain and anxiety control:
Provide control of pain and anxiety in the conscious adult and pediatric dental patient through the use of behavior management techniques and pharmacological techniques (local anesthesia, oral/nitrous oxide anxiolysis).

Medical emergencies:
Recognize, diagnose and provide initial treatment for medical emergencies that may occur in the dental office.

Oral mucosal diseases:
Diagnose and manage common oral pathologic conditions.

Temporomandibular disorders, orofacial pain and occlusal disorders:
Diagnose and manage temporomandibular disorders, orofacial pain and occlusal disorders.

Apply the principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making and professional responsibility as they pertain to patient care, and practice management.

Practice management:
Apply the principles of practice management to everyday dental practice.


Residency Program

Program Length:

The GDR Program co-sponsored by the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Dentistry and the UAB Hospital consists of 12 months of advanced dental education in clinical dentistry, and is conducted primarily within a hospital environment.  An optional second GPR or AEGD year is available on a competitive basis. This latter position is generally limited to one position per year and is dependent upon qualifications.

Optional Second Year Goals and Objectives: 

GOAL 1: Act as a Primary Health Care Provider at a level more advanced than a GPR/AEGD Level 1 resident.
Provide multidisciplinary comprehensive dental care to a wide variety of patients by pursuing training in advanced dental clinical fields of interest including but not limited to:

  1. Implant Dentistry
  2. Prosthodontics

Goal 2: Obtain more advanced didactic training in both medicine and dentistry.
They will be offered graduate level courses in the following areas:

  1. Surgical Implants in Dentistry
  2. Postgraduate Oral Pathology
  3. Advanced Treatment Planning

Goal 3: Complete medical/dental rotations not offered to Level 1 residents.
These may include:

  1. Postdoctoral Periodontology
  2. Postdoctoral Endodontics
  3. Pediatric Dentistry
  4. Internal Medicine

Goal 4: The Level 2 resident will assume more administrative responsibility in the administration of a GPR/AEGD residency.

Goal 5: The Level 2 resident will gain experience in the academics of dentistry.
These experiences will include:

  1. Lecturing to predoctoral dental students in Dental Therapeutics.
  2. Lecturing to predoctoral dental students in Medical Emergencies.
  3. Covering predoctoral dental students in the Comprehensive Care Clinic.

Note: In pursuing these objectives the Level 2 resident will not repeat Level 1 rotations and academic courses. It is anticipated the Level 2 resident will spend 15% more time delivering clinical dental care. Each Level 2 resident in conjunction with the program director will tailor this Level 2 year to his/her interests

Program Dates:

The 2017-2018 the program begins July 1st and concludes June 30th. In general, entering residents are required to report either June 19 or 20 for UAB Hospital orientation and help in patient transition.


1. University Hospital Dental Clinic (GPR/AEGD)..........35 Weeks

Residents spend approximately 35 weeks at the University Hospital Dental Clinic (UHDC) where the majority of time is spent providing hands-on patient treatment. The 35 weeks are spread out during the entire year to assure continuity of care. During this time residents gain a wide variety of experiences by providing complex dental treatment for both hospitalized and ambulatory patients. The concept of comprehensive care is stressed, with an emphasis on considering the "whole" patient. Opportunities exist for providing comprehensive dental care, including fixed and removable prosthodontics (implant restoration), rotary endodontics, periodontics (implant placement), oral surgery, and advanced esthetic operative dentistry. Residents also gain extensive experience in evaluating hospital patients and providing dental consultations.

2. Oral Surgery (GPR/AEGD)..........6 Weeks

During the 6-7 week oral surgery rotation, residents perform numerous outpatient oral surgery procedures at the Oral Surgery Clinic located in the School of Dentistry.  Routine and complex exodontia, pre-prosthetic surgery, and conscious sedation techniques are emphasized.  During two weeks the residents will participate in the care of hospitalized oral surgery patients. The three-week rotations are scheduled evenly throughout the year to allow for comprehensive care of restorative patients.

3. Anesthesia (GPR only)..........2 Weeks

During this rotation, residents actively participate in the care of surgery patients via assignment to the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Alabama Hospital.  Residents receive experience in physical evaluation of the pre-anesthetic patient, starting and maintaining intravenous lines, oral and nasal intubation, monitoring vital signs, maintaining optimum airways, utilizing various equipment/instrumentation for monitoring the anesthetized patient, and patient recovery.

4. Emergency Room (GPR/AEGD)..........2 Weeks

During this two-week rotation, residents actively participate in the care of patients presenting to University Highlands Hospital Emergency Room and Walk-in-Clinic.  Highlands University Hospital ER serves as a trauma center; thus residents are exposed to a wide variety of emergency medical situations, from sprained ankles to major trauma. The GDR residents are often assigned to an Emergency Medicine physician to maximize their rotation.

5. Pediatric Dentistry (AEGD and GPR)..........1 or 3 Weeks

The AEGD residents spend three weeks at Children's Hospital Dental Clinic and the School of Dentistry Pediatric Dentistry Clinic.  The GPR Residents spend one week at Children's and the SOD Pediatric Clnic.  During this time they perform both comprehensive and emergency treatment for pediatric dental inpatients and outpatients. Emphasis is placed upon prevention of oral disease in the child and adolescent, management of dental emergencies, treatment of the phobic or disruptive patient via behavioral management, oral and inhalation sedation, or general anesthesia.

6. Otolaryngology (GPR/AEGD)..........2 Weeks

This two-week rotation is spent on service with division of Otolaryngology. The GDR resident will be primarily assigned to the head and neck cancer team. They will follow patients undergoing multidisciplinary management for head and neck cancer. Time will be spent in radiation oncology and medical oncology.

7. Radiation Oncology/Tumor Board..........1 week

This one-week objective will be spent in the UAB Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology. This is an optional rotation.  The on-call Resident shall attend the weekly Tumor Board.

8. Elective Rotation (AEGD/GPR)..........1 Week

This one-week rotation is completed in the second half of the year. Options include all of the specialty areas of dentistry, hospital departments or medical specialties and subspecialties. The resident is assigned to this area full or part time for the one week session. The elective must be approved at least one month prior to the scheduled rotation by both the GDR Program Director and a person responsible for the resident’s supervision during the elective. This rotation is usually taken during the last three months of the residency year.


Formal postgraduate courses taken with other post-graduate dental students include Physical Diagnosis, Conscious Sedation, and Dental Management of the Medically Complex Patient.  A portion of most Thursday mornings is set aside for resident seminars that range from formal lectures to treatment planning sessions. At these sessions other issues are discussed relating to the clinic practice (scheduling, emergencies, etc.). All GDR residents, including those on rotation, are required to attend these sessions. Space permitting, continuing education courses offered by the School of Dentistry are available for a minimal fee to postgraduate students.  Approximately 30 courses are offered each year at UAB. The 2013-2014 didactic year is attached to this prospectus.


Although not required, opportunities for research are available for the interested resident. Time is limited, but several motivated residents have successfully participated in a variety of research endeavors. The program director can provide additional information.


Optional PGY-2 GPR/AEGD

Goal 1: To prepare residents to provide comprehensive general dentistry services at a level beyond that achieved as a Level 1 GPR/AEGD resident.
Objective 1 - To provide advanced didactic instruction in areas related to advanced general dentistry including, but not limited to: multidisciplinary comprehensive oral health care.
Objective 2 - To act as primary provider for individuals and groups of patients providing emergency and multidisciplinary comprehensive oral health care; providing patient focused care that is coordinated by the general practitioner; directing health promotion and disease prevention activities and using advanced dental treatment modalities.
Objective 3 - To provide sufficient number and variety of clinical opportunities, including patients with special needs, for increased skills in the treatment of comprehensive general dentistry patients at a level higher than a level 1 GPR/AEGD resident.

Goal 2: To improve the resident’s ability to treat a wide variety of patients with complex medical histories and special needs.
Objective 1 - To provide advanced didactic training in the dental treatment modifications necessary for medically, mentally, and physically challenged patients.
Objective 2 - To provide a sufficient number and variety of clinical opportunities for developing increased skills and confidence in treating individuals requiring special care at a level beyond PGY-I residents.

Goal 3: To apply scientific principles to learning and oral health care.
To use the principles of critical thinking, evidence of outcomes-based clinical
decision making and evidence-based decision information retrieval systems.

Goal 4: To utilize the values of professional ethics, lifelong learning, patient centered care, adaptability, and acceptance of cultural diversity in professional practice by acting as mentor for Level 1 residents.

Goal 5: To understand and participate in the oral health needs of communities and engage in community service.

Goal 6 : To provide more advance clinical care than Level 1 residents in the following areas:
1. Placement of dental implants
2. Restoration of dental implants
3. Advanced OS surgical procedures



University Hospital Dental Clinic
The University Hospital Dental Clinic is a 13 chair dental facility located in the UAB Hospital. Each operatory is appropriately equipped. Digital radiography has been added. There are three front-office staff, four dental assistants and one hygienist assigned to the GDR clinic full-time. Inpatient and outpatient needs are readily served by the clinic's convenient location. Convenient parking for patients is available.

University Hospital
The University of Alabama Hospital is a major teaching and service facility with a capacity of over 900 beds and educates 900+ medical/dental residents. This well respected tertiary care hospital serves patients regionally, nationally, and internationally. It is particularly well known for clinical care and research relating to cardiac surgery, cancer therapy, organ transplantation, and rheumatology. The University Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the best health science center hospitals in the United States.

Children's Hospital of Alabama
Children's Hospital is a 190 bed tertiary care facility providing care to an extensive population of pediatric patients from the southeast region. A new and expanded Children's Hospital Dental Clinic was recently opened. A full spectrum of services is provided for medically compromised and healthy pediatric patients.



Residents participate in after-hours call throughout the year. They are on pager call while assigned as the consult resident. They triage patients of record and generally respond via telephone. Residents are required to live within 30 minutes of UAB Hospital in case they are needed for emergency management. The most common emergencies seen in the Emergency Room are stabilization of avulsed and partially avulsed teeth.


Application Process


Selection of the residents is based on the following criteria:
1. Class standing, GPA and National Boards Part I.
2. Letters of recommendation.
3. Applicant essay.
4. Interview
The GDR Admissions Committee is comprised of two full-time faculty, one part-time faculty and a current GDR resident. Applicants must be a graduate of a fully accredited North American Dental school. Successful completion of the National Boards Part 1 is required. Alabama state licensure is not required for admission. All application forms must be received by September 1 of every year.


As an institution of higher education and in the spirit of its policies of equal employment opportunity, UAB hereby reaffirms its policy of equal educational opportunity. All applicants for admission will be considered without regard to an applicant’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, natural origin, disability unrelated to program performance, disabled veteran status, or Vietnam-era veteran status.

PASS Application
Participation in the PASS application program is mandatory for all applicants. PASS applications should be complete by September 1 of every year. Late applications will not be reviewed. Application materials can be obtained from your dental school or by writing:
655 K Street N.W., Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20001
Telephone: (202) 289-7201

Financial Information

Each resident of the General Dental Residency Program receives stipend support as determined yearly by the administration of the University Hospital. The stipend compares favorably with those of other programs. Specific information is available from the program director. The current stipend is approximately $47,500 a year plus benefits (free parking and cafeteria discount). UAB provides disability insurance and offers a reduced rate for medical insurance utilizing Viva UAB.

For all first year residents, the residency is to be a full-time endeavor. After hours practice of dentistry will not be permitted. The second year resident may moonlight on a very limited basis with the written permission of the program director. The second year resident must be licensed in the State of Alabama.

Individuals accepted for matriculation in the GDR program will be requested to forward a $250.00 deposit. This deposit will be refunded upon entering the program.


Health Policies

All newly-appointed residents must undergo a hospital sponsored pre-employment physical examination. All newly appointed residents will be TB tested at no cost by Employee Health with in the first month of arrival. All newly-appointed residents are also screened for immunization of hepatitis-B and childhood diseases as part of the physical.



The contents of this prospectus represent the most current information available at the time of publication. It is possible that changes may be made with respect to this information without prior notice. Thus, the provisions of this prospectus are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the school and the student.


Additional Information

For information concerning application status, or requests for application materials, or additional information about the University Hospital General Practice Residency and Advanced Education in General Dentistry Programs please contact either:

Dr. James R. Pignataro, Jr.
Assistant Professor and Director, General Dental Residency Program
University of Alabama School of Dentistry
SDB 39
1720 2nd Ave S.
Birmingham, AL 35294-0007
Telephone: (205) 934-1021
FAX: (205) 975-6519