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WVU to offer first pediatric dentistry residency program in West Virginia

A dentist wearing a white coat wearing a white mask and blue latex gloves works on a young patient who is wearing a blue sweatshirt. Two dental students in blue gowns observe on the right side of the photo.

Dr. Gina Graziani (left), chair of the WVU School of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and dental students work with a patient during the "Give Kids a Smile" event at the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic in Morgantown, Feb. 3, 2023. The School's new residency program in pediatric dentistry will be the first of its kind in West Virginia. (WVU Photo/Davidson Chan)

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The West Virginia University School of Dentistry is adding to its advanced education programs, becoming the first institution in the state to offer a residency in pediatric dentistry.

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry recently received initial approval from the Commission on Dental Accreditation, allowing the first residents to enroll in the two-year program in July 2024.

“To be able to begin recruiting for our new pediatric dentistry residency program is essential for our goal as a land-grant institution to advance health care, specifically the oral health care of children, in West Virginia,” Dr. Dami Kim, residency program director, said.

Dental cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease, surpassing asthma, childhood obesity and diabetes, and residents of the Appalachian region face the greatest disparities in oral health status and access to oral health care in the United States.

As the first pediatric dentistry residency program in the state, the new offering will support the University’s land-grant mission to advance education and health care in West Virginia by expanding the reach of specialized dentists to its youngest residents.

Residents enrolled in the program will prepare for pediatric dentistry practice in private and hospital settings.

The program’s objectives are intended to teach dentists about growth and development and how it pertains to the oral health of children. Residents will learn advanced behavior management techniques to treat children who may have trouble tolerating required procedures and how to address complicated medical histories of children.

Upon completion of the program, residents will be awarded a certificate of specialty training in pediatric dentistry and will meet the advanced eligibility requirements of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.



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WVU School of Dentistry

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