Department of Dentistry | Pediatric Dental Residency

Clinical training

Clinical training in pediatric dentistry for the Harvard School of Dental Medicine is primarily conducted at Boston Children's Hospital. The residency provides a full range of specialty training for the pediatric dental residents in:

The department's senior staff and house officers also serve as members of special patient teams within the hospital, treating patients with cleft lip and palate, other craniofacial anomalies or Down syndrome.

Emergency dental duty
Interns and residents are assigned emergency dental duty on a rotating basis. Trainees at Boston Children's Hospital have the opportunity to treat a variety of dental emergencies involving pain, infection and orofacial trauma.

Patient management techniques
Patient management techniques are taught through a combination of lectures, discussions and clinical experience. These include:

  • behavior modification
  • nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia
  • alternative conscious sedation techniques
  • general  anesthesia


One-month rotation
A one-month rotation in general anesthesia is required of all trainees through the Department of Anesthesia. During this rotation, the trainee learns the physiology and pharmacology of anesthetic agents, as well as techniques involved in administering general anesthesia. This rotation includes active participation in administering general anesthesia including the establishment and maintenance of a safe airway.

First year rotations
Additional rotations are provided in inpatient pediatric medicine, emergency pediatric medicine, pediatric hematology/oncology, and developmental medicine. Working on a medical service, house officers are exposed to a wide variety of pediatric medical and surgical diagnoses and learn the internal workings of a pediatric hospital.

Second year rotations
In addition, a one week rotation during the second year of the program may be spent in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. An elective approved rotation is also allotted for one week of extramural training. In the past, elective time has been spent with our contacts in places such as Guy's Hospital in England, Australia, Honduras, and Native American reservations in Alaska and the Four Corners. A one week rotation is also spent in outpatient pediatric medicine during the second year.


All postdoctoral trainees participate in morning seminars on pediatric dentistry during which bibliographic material for further reading is provided.

  • Staff pediatric dentists and orthodontists present a series of lectures and demonstrations.
  • Staff physicians present lectures on a broad range of medical topics that include most of the medical problems the trainees will treat in the clinic or in practice.
  • Emphasis is placed on appropriate treatment modalities and possible complications to ensure that dental treatment is compatible with overall patient needs.

Didactic training

During each of the four academic semesters, the student takes one course from the core requirements for postgraduate students at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, when offered. These include graduate level courses in:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology


A wide range of research opportunities exists within the network of Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. All trainees are required to engage in a research area of interest to the extent dictated by their particular mentor. A paper of publishable quality is required at the end of the two-year residency.