Advanced/Graduate/Residency Programs in USA after BDS/DDS/DMD.USA-6

Updated: Feb 6



“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” -Jim Rohn


Photo Courtesy @indy kadeer



  • This is similar to your master's degree but is taught as a part of working in a dental college and most national graduates get a stipend for it. Residency programs are typically completed in conjunction with earning a master’s or doctoral degree.

  • A few programs accept foreign-trained dentists who have obtained an undergraduate dental degree from dental schools outside North America.

  • Your competition unlike for advance standing would be nationals, with a dental qualification in the US, so their experiences and references will be quite strong, and so the competition tough.​

  • Several dental schools do not accept foreign-trained dentists into their programs due to state policies, and only applicants graduating from a U.S. based dental school are eligible for application

  • This pathway allows foreign-trained dentists to combine residency (post-doctoral training ) with research training in specific specialities of dentistry. (CHECK OUT SEPARATE BLOG WITH DETAILS OF THIS)

  • For licensing of FTD only a few states accept successful completion of a clinical speciality program instead of a U.S. dental degree, they are as follows, kindly check each of the state requirements with the board and the conditions of licensure thoroughly before embarking on this journey.​​

The 10 CODA recognised specialities are, and I have linked each with their respective parent organisations and the list of residencies available in each. All may not be taking FTD so please check with each school directly.


  • The duration of these residency programs varies between one and four years, depending on concurrent master’s or doctoral degree programs.

  • One- or two-year residencies: General Practice Residency (GPR) and Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) are also available which is as the name suggests for general practice. My understanding is that GP§r - is more a hospital-based rotation - so dental anaesthesia and oral surgery way and AGED is more the general dental practice rotation in all the residencies combined like an intense version of 'Internship'. Please do your own research, every program is depended on who is running it and the facilities available - make sure you check what is right for you. Check this thread on SDN.

  • Though these programs are ADA credited, they remain unendorsed for specialization. These programs usually grant a certificate of completion (not a DDS or DMD degree) which may satisfy only licensure eligibility requirements in the state where the program is located, or be recognized only by a limited number of states.

Post Doctoral Match

  • Admissions to most residency programs are facilitated via the National Matching Service which makes it more competitive.

  • Some schools still have the traditional way of application, interview and selection.

  • As there is a vast selection available for these programmes for the students and schools , after the application process and interviews, the students and universities take part in a system called the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program administered by National Matching Services, Inc. This helps the students and universities in getting their best option and best student respectively.

  • "Match alleviates many common adverse situations from the recruitment process, such as applicants hoarding multiple offers, and applicants or programs reneging on a prior acceptance in order to accept a more preferred program or applicant that has subsequently become available. Also, a program can be assured that it will not be matched with more applicants than it has available positions.

  • In the Match, both applicants and programs should list choices in order of preference, without consideration for how they will be ranked by the other party. Decisions by applicants and programs regarding rankings can be based on the applicants' and programs' true preferences for each other, without the need to speculate on the likelihood of subsequent offers being made or accepted."

  • How its done 'Match Algorithm'

  • According to the website, the residency programs taking part in 2020 - 21 are - US GPR, AEGD, OMS, PEDO, ORTHO, PERIO, PROS, CAN GPR, ANES and the total number matched was - 2520.

  • The number of residency spots available through the matching program varied from highest being for US GRP was 798 and for Dental anesthesiology was 28​

  • Check out more statistics. Matching is done as 2 phases

  • PHASE 1 is for ORTHO, PERIO, PROS, ANES AND CANADIAN GPR

  • PHASE 2 IS FOR AEGD, US GPR, OMS AND PEDO

  • Those of you interested in applying for Oral Medicine, Oral Radiology, Endodontics, Operative Dentistry residencies that do not take part in the match, you will have to apply to each of the programmes in each university separately.

  • The disheartening statistic about 2020 match was of the 610 applications to match 456 of the FTD were unmatched.

  • This video brought a happy tear to my eye, it caught my attention randomly, but this gives you a feel of what matchday is all about.


Dental License with a Postdoctoral Degree

  • This pathway allows foreign-trained dentists to combine residency (post-doctoral training ) with research training in specific specialities of dentistry to apply for 'practice to register' which gives you the full scope of practice of dentistry.

  • For licensing of FTD only a few states accept successful completion of a clinical speciality program instead of a U.S. dental degree

  • I HAVE COME ACROSS 18 SUCH STATES WHERE YOU CAN CONVERT YOUR LICENSE, PLEASE CONTACT THE BOARDS DIRECTLY BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISIONS. CHECK THE BLOG LINK. IF I HAVE MISSED ANY PLEASE LET ME KNOW.​

  • I INSIST THAT YOU kindly check each of the state requirements with the board and the conditions of licensure thoroughly before embarking on this journey, this is my understanding!)

  • Nearly all states generally require that graduates of non-accredited dental education programs obtain a DDS or DMD degree from a dental education program accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation ( ADA CDA), Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC), or state dental board-approved education program.

  • California and Minnesota dental boards have the authority to allow dentists who have graduated from non-accredited programs to practice in their states

  • Some states may require something other than completion of a four-year dental program in order to obtain the degree; for example, a two-year supplemental program and offer programs that grant certificates of completion rather than a dental degree for non-accredited program graduates who wish to become licensed in the United States.

  • Under a reciprocal agreement between the ADA CDC and the CDAC, each Commission recognizes the accreditation of educational programs accredited by the other agency, as a result, applicants who have graduated from Canadian predoctoral dental education programs accredited by the CDAC may be eligible to meet the licensure requirements of a particular U.S. licensing jurisdiction without having to complete any additional educational requirements. Once again, however, the applicant should understand that the final decision on eligibility is determined by each state. For example, Georgia does not recognize the reciprocal agreement between the ADA CDA and the CDAC.

WEBSITES WITH SOME INFO

  1. Slideshare on Postdoc for International trained dentist pathway - this has a lot of factual errors but I have seen this copied onto many blogs and answers on quora - Please check your information.