University of Alabama School of Dentistry
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center Prospectus

Advanced Specialty Programs
in Prosthodontics


The advanced program in Prosthodontics is designed to meet the needs of the graduate dentist seeking preparation for the specialty of prosthodontics. In order to meet these needs, the program includes instruction in fixed, removable and implant prosthodontics and maxillofacial prosthetics. Selected basic science courses and research opportunities are included to augment a well-founded background for the practice of prosthodontics, research or teaching. Additionally, our program offers a well-developed program in the surgical placement of dental implants and associated procedures.

The programs in prosthodontics are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. Upon successful completion of study, the candidate will have satisfied the educational requirements for examination by the American Board of Prosthodontics.

Types of Programs Available

The programs of advanced study are offered to select graduates of accredited dental schools. The first, a postgraduate program, is a course of study leading to a certificate of specialty training in prosthodontics. The second, a graduate course, leads to a Master of Science degree with a major in Prosthodontic Dentistry and a minor in Dental Biomaterials.

Description of Programs

1. The Post Graduate Program

This is a three-year certificate program designed for those who wish to become qualified to practice the specialty of prosthodontics and to attain board certification. The curriculum includes courses in clinical fixed, removable and implant prosthodontics and maxillofacial prosthetics, applied basic sciences, related medical specialties, and include paramedical sciences such as biostatistics and epidemiology. The students participate in departmental seminars, treatment planning seminars, patient treatment presentations, review of the literature, and applications of the related sciences.

Emphasis is placed on patient care. Clinical training is in the broad field of prosthodontics, covering accepted prosthetic procedures. All students will experience patient management in complete dentures, fixed and removable partial prosthodontics, implant prosthodontics, maxillofacial prosthetics, and temporomandibular dysfunction.

2. The Graduate Program

In order to earn the Master of Science Degree in Dentistry, the candidate must fulfill the requirements of the Graduate School of the University and those of the School of Dentistry.

The program is designed for those who wish to prepare themselves thoroughly for prosthodontic practice, research and scholarship. The course of study includes didactic and clinical training in prosthodontics, graduate level courses in basic sciences, and seminars. This program requires that the majority of time be devoted to patient care in the broad field of prosthodontics. The candidate must design and conduct an original research project and successfully complete a written thesis dissertation and an oral examination.

Admission to the graduate program is provisional. This status remains in effect until the student has been in residence for one academic year and has demonstrated competence by completing nine semester hours of clinical and six hours of basic science study. The candidate should anticipate 36 months or more for completion of the program.

3. Specific Qualifications for Admissions

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited school of dentistry, or an institution approved by the Postdoctoral Education Committee of this institution, and must file an application with the Director of Admissions, Advanced Dental Education, University of Alabama School of Dentistry.

Selection for this program is based on scholarship (particularly at the professional school level), motivation, aptitude, character, experience, and a sincere desire to participate in the program. The prescribed application form and supporting documents must be on file before consideration can be given to an applicant.

Interviews, while not mandatory, are usually advantageous. Applicants wishing interviews should communicate concerning their desire for an interview. Applicants who are strong candidates may be invited for personal interviews prior to final selection. Foreign applicants must document their abilities in the English language by presentation of an acceptable score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination and usually can be considered only if they are able to financially support themselves.

Individuals accepted for advanced education programs at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and who are eligible to obtain State of Alabama dental licensure are encouraged to do so because of matters related to professional liability and third party pay patients.

Participation in advanced dental education programs is considered to require concentrated full-time effort on the student's part. Consequently, each student should plan his or her other obligations and responsibilities accordingly.

The programs begin July 1st. Applications should be filed by the preceding October 1st. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be before January 15.

4. Fees, Stipends and Insurance

Tuition/fees for the certificate (non-degree) program is approximately $4,500.00 per academic year. In addition, for those pursuing a graduate degree, the prevailing fees for the Graduate School will also be paid. This does not include textbooks and instruments. A list of required textbooks, journals and instruments is supplied to the candidate with acceptance notice.

There are several opportunities available for financial assistance:

  • University of Alabama School of Dentistry Residency Program stipends. Stipends are contingent on annual budget review and may or may not be offered. Most years, stipends are available from three sources. Residents may have the opportunity to teach in the pre-doctoral program. Compensation from this activity is approximately $8,000 per year. Residents typically rotate through the VA hospital in their first year. Compensation from this activity ranges from $6,000 to $12,000 per year. Finally, some residents are employed in research activities; compensation varies for these activities. Stipends are variable, and not available to every student.
  • Career candidates from the Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs and Public Health Service are eligible for acceptance.
  • Applications may be submitted for residency stipends from other various foundations, associations or governments which support advanced dental education for U.S. or foreign students.

The student is required to have or acquire health insurance (available from the University), and must be capable of meeting financial responsibilities while in residence for either program. Before registration all students must present verification of vaccination for (or immunity to) Hepatitis B. Professional liability insurance is required of all students and faculty of this institution. It is available through the UAB Medical Malpractice Liability Trust Fund at the time of matriculation.

5. General Information

Program Orientation

The postgraduate and graduate programs in prosthodontics are primarily clinic oriented. Emphasis is on patient examination with history and record accumulation to formulate an adequate diagnosis, sound treatment planning and utilization of modern instrumentation and technology to successfully treat the patient. Residents will be instructed in the utilization of several implant systems. Dental Implantology has been a major part of the program. Seminars and clinical instruction are related to theory and practice of the various concepts and instrumentation of gnathology, to the understanding and utilization of materials science, and utilization of the library and laboratory resources for expansion of knowledge and skills in prosthodontics.

Clinical Activity

The primary clinical activity is within the graduate prosthodontic clinic. The student is assigned patients selected by the appropriate department faculty to give increasingly more challenging treatment concepts. Also, specific treatment problems are assigned to demonstrate a particular concept. During the course of residency training, the student may be assigned for rotation through the Veterans Affairs Dental Clinic, to the Maxillofacial Prosthetics Clinic, and may be assigned for specific teaching responsibilities with the undergraduate programs in the School of Dentistry. Residents in the graduate prosthodontic program have the opportunity to surgically place implants. For these residents who choose to emphasize this area of their professional development, relatively large numbers of cases are possible.

Interdepartmental Relationships

There is a close liaison between the clinical departments in the School of Dentistry. All students participate in interdisciplinary consultation and/or patient management. Particularly close relations exist among the various advanced education programs.

Continuing Education

The University of Alabama School of Dentistry offers an extensive range of Continuing Education courses. Prosthodontic residents are required to attend those primarily related to fixed, removable and implant prosthodontics and are encouraged to attend others which may be of interest or value. Tuition costs for continuing education courses are waived.

Service Responsibilities

The clinical activities are based on treatment of patients admitted to the School of Dentistry, the Veterans Affairs Dental Service, or affiliated hospitals and clinics of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Students in the advanced education programs are expected to perform ethical, supervised and approved treatment for only those patients assigned to them by the appropriate faculty.


  1. Students are specifically forbidden by the Program Director to perform services for any patient not assigned by the faculty.
  2. Unauthorized absences from program assignments will not be permitted.

These measures are intended to protect the student from interference with a projected, planned program of graduate or postgraduate study.


  1. The Graduate Prosthodontic Program employs a modern 8 chair clinical area. The clinical area is specifically oriented to fixed, removable and implant prosthodontics. There is an immediately adjacent laboratory with work and storage space assigned to each resident.
  2. There are available clinical and research laboratories equipped for fixed, removable and implant prosthodontic procedures.
  3. There is a completely equipped and separate maxillofacial prosthetics clinical and laboratory facility housed in an affiliated hospital within the University of Alabama at Birmingham medical complex.
  4. The Veterans Affairs Hospital Dental Service is an affiliated program and houses complete teaching, clinical and laboratory facilities.

Application Procedure

PASS Application

As part of a national effort to make the application process less time consuming for the applicant, this Prosthodontics program is a participant in the PASS (Postdoctoral Application Support Service) central application service sponsored by the American Dental Education Association. Completed applications are due by November 1st.

Application materials can usually be obtained from your dental school or by writing:

Suite 600
1625 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-2212
Telephone: (202) 332-8795

Direct Application

Should you not wish to participate in the PASS application process, you may apply directly to the Prosthodontics program by requesting an application from the address below. Completed applications must be received prior to November 1st in the year preceding the year for which the applicant is applying. You do not have to fill out the University of Alabama School of Dentistry's postdoctoral application if you are participating in the PASS process. Generally, direct application is of benefit to those individuals applying only to Prosthodontics programs not participating in the PASS program.

Director, Postgraduate Dental Education
University of Alabama School of Dentistry
SDB 124, Box 92
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-0007
Telephone: (205) 934-5357
FAX: (205) 934-0208


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.

Advanced Educational Program in Prosthodontics Staff

Michael S. McCracken, D.D.S., Ph.D., F.A.C.P
Associate Professor
Department of Prosthodontics
Director, Graduate Prosthodontics

S. Jean O'Neal, D.M.D., M.S.
Professor and Chair
Department of Prosthodontics

John B. Farmer, D.M.D.
Associate Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Prosthodontics

Daniel A. Givan, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Prosthodontics

Michelle Ireland, D.M.D., M.S.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Prosthodontics
Private Practice

Perng-Ru Liu, D.D.S., M.S., D.M.D.
Associate Professor Chair
Department of Comprehensive Dentistry

Dr. Lillian Mitchell, D.D.S.
Assistant Professor
Department of Prosthodontics

Dr. Ruth Aponte-Wesson, D.D.S.
Assistant Professor
Department of Prosthodontics

Faculty of affiliated dental and medical services participate in ongoing clinical, didactic and research instruction.