Program Information


The Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Periodontics department has a nationally recognized periodontal residency program with a world renowned and highly skilled faculty. The program follows the guidelines established by the American Academy of Periodontology for the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
Upon completion of the program, the postdoctoral student receives a Certificate in Periodontics and meets eligibility requirements for the American Board of Periodontology examination.

Application for Admission

Applicants seeking admission to the Postgraduate Periodontic Program at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Graduate from a United States or Canadian dental school or a dental school that provides equivalent curriculum content and clinical experience.
  • Successfully complete Part I of the National Dental Board at the time of application.
  • Proficiency in English reading, writing and speaking demonstrated on the TOFEL examination.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or equivalent, or a cumulative ranking in the top 50 percent of the applicant dental school graduating class.
  • Interview with the program director.
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a periodontal faculty member or periodontist familiar with your previous clinical and/or didactic periodontal accomplishments.

The deadline for applications is August 1st.

Specific questions with regard to the admissions requirements or any other aspect of the Postgraduate Program in Periodontics at RSDM should be addressed to the Program Director:
Dr. Emil Cappetta



The CORE Curriculum is designed to provide a broad foundation in the Biomedical Sciences upon which training in specialized dental disciplines is based. The PGY1 CORE course is Foundations of Oral Biology, which consists of the following modules:

  • Professional Ethics
  • Clinical Photography
  • Research Design and Data Analysis
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Gross Anatomy
  • Histology and Pathobiology

The PGY2 CORE course is Advanced Biomedical Science in Dentistry, which consists of the following modules:

  • Orofacial Pain
  • Oral Medicine & Pathology
  • Advanced Dental Therapeutics and Pharmacology
  • Embryology and Genetics
  • Behavioral and Social Science in Dentistry

These courses are taught in an interdisciplinary format to residents in RSDM’s Advanced Specialty Education programs in Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics, as well as residents in the Advanced General Dentistry Education program in Orofacial Pain and students in RSDM’s Masters programs. This didactic instruction occurs in a weekly two-hour seminar.

Departmental Courses

REVIEW OF CLASSICAL LITERATURE:This course covers: (1) Basic Periodontics and (2) Clinical Periodontics including Implantology. Basic Periodontics includes development of periodontium, anatomy of the periodontium, etiology, pathogenesis of periodontal disease, microbiology, immunology, biofilm and calculus, wound healing and repair, epidemiology and indices, blood disorders affecting periodontium, hormones, stress, aggressive periodontitis, gingival hyperplasia, gingival crevicular fluid and human immunodeficiency virus and oral-systemic disease link.  This course focuses on literature concerned with periodontal therapy including occlusion, TMJ and Implantology, and the use of adjunctive chemotherapeutic agents. Ten to fifteen scientific papers are reviewed per session. Basic and clinical science topics are discussed on alternate weeks.

ADVANCED CLINICAL PERIODONTICS: Postgraduate students are assigned ADA Class III and IV patients (moderate to advanced periodontitis). Additionally, postgraduates perform surgical procedures for the patients referred by undergraduate students. The students are exposed to advanced surgical modalities including implantology, guided tissue/bone regeneration, internal/external sinus lifts and various block grafts.

CLINICAL CASE CONFERENCE: In this course, each postgraduate student, on a weekly rotating basis, presents their cases to faculty, generally those of the department, and the other postgraduate students. The case presentation has as its main purpose a review of the examination, diagnosis and treatment rendered in each case. Students may, thus, learn from peers and faculty. Additionally, correlation between the Literature Review and the Clinical Case Conference is stressed. The postgraduate student presents the case with the use of photographs, models and records. Cases are presented in the format used by the American Board of Periodontology to assist students in preparations for taking the board exam.


  • Non-surgical Therapy: The course content includes instrumentation, the sharpening of instruments and non-surgical therapy.
  • Biochemistry and Physiology of Oral Tissues: The course material covers the biochemistry and molecular biology of connective tissue and epithelium.
  • Minor Tooth Movement in Periodontal Therapy: Basic concepts in patient minor tooth movement and periodontal-orthodontic relationships are emphasized and are reinforced through case presentation and review. Additionally, periodontal postgraduate students are afforded the opportunity to perform minor tooth movement, as appropriate, for their patients.
  • Mucogingival/Augmentation Considerations: The course explores the original rationale for mucogingival surgery and the evolution of the philosophies of increasing the zone of attached gingiva and root coverage. The various therapeutic modalities to achieve a functional esthetic mucogingival complex are presented.
  • Occlusal/Temporomandibular Joint Considerations:: The course content includes maxillary/mandibular interrelationships, concepts of physiologic versus pathologic occlusion, methods and philosophies of occlusal equilibration and diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular-craniomandibular syndrome.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT: Individuals with expertise in specific topics are selected as lecturers in this course. As complimentary to the didactic material, students are encouraged to visit at least two private practices.

PRINCIPLES OF PERIODONTICS: The purpose of the course is to review, expand upon and present, in much more detail, material acquired in pre-doctoral curricula. The course material includes the anatomy and histology of the periodontium in health and disease, pathogenesis of periodontal disease, inflammation and immunology, wound healing and various therapeutic procedures and rationales for their selection. In this course, the methodology, indications, contraindications and limitations of surgical techniques currently employed are presented in detail. The course is complementary to the Literature Review.

REVIEW OF CURRENT LITERATURE: In this course, each student is assigned responsibility to review selected articles from dental, medical and scientific journals. Articles which are considered pertinent are selected by the course director and subsequently discussed. The course is designed to complement the Classical Literature Review and enables students to keep abreast of current developments in Periodontics.

PRACTICE TEACHING IN PERIODONTICS: Postgraduate students participate in pre-doctoral clinical teaching and screening of patients. In general, second and third year students are scheduled in the clinic two sessions per month per each semester. Students are first apprised of departmental pre-doctoral requirements and evaluation policies and generally work in close association with the clinical faculty in order to achieve and maintain consistency of grading. In addition to clinical teaching, the third year students are required to prepare and present at least one lecture to the first or second year DMD classes.

MONTHLY RESEARCH SEMINARS Special monthly research seminars are presented during lunch hour. Scheduled speakers include faculty from other schools.

Interdisciplinary/Interprofessional Courses

IMPLANT CORE: This course is given to postgraduate students in Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Oral Surgery and Endodontics.

  1. The historical development of dental implants
  2. The biologic basis for dental implants and principles of implant biomaterials and
  3. Indications and contraindications for implants of various designs and characteristics
  4. The prosthetic requirements of dental implants
  5. Presurgical examination and treatment planning
  6. Surgical placement and postoperative maintenance-aseptic technique
  7. Evaluation of peri-implant tissues and the management of implant complications
  8. Maintenance of implants
  9. The appropriate sterile or aseptic technique for the placement of dental implant

IMPLANT JOURNAL CLUB: This course is attended by the oral-maxillofacial residents, periodontal and prosthodontic postgraduate students and specialty faculty. Each discipline is responsible for hosting the monthly seminar on a rotating basis. The hosting discipline selects both the topic for discussion and the articles for review. The moderator presents the articles but all residents are expected to be prepared to discuss the materials and methods and the conclusion of each article. This course is designed to review the current literature relating to dental implantology. Special emphasis is placed on critical examination of research design and the validity of conclusions.

IMPLANTOLOGY TREATMENT PLANNING SEMINARS:  This course is attended by Periodontics, Oral Surgery, and Prosthodontic postgraduates and several faculty. When patients are accepted for implant therapy, they are assigned to a surgical (either Periodontics or Oral Surgery) and Prosthodontic resident for conjoint treatment planning and treatment. The course material includes ideal treatment plans, as well as various alternatives, including medications and contraindications to implant therapy. Two students (surgical and prosthetic) jointly present the cases to be treated by them.

INTERDISCIPLINARY PERIODONTAL/PROSTHODONTIC SEMINAR:The material presented in this course includes conventional periodontal/prosthodontic/orthodontic interrelationships.

Scholarly Activity

Students are expected to attend meetings of the Northeast Society of Periodontists, The NJ Society of Periodontists, The Tri-School Meeting (Metropolitan Periodontal Forum), and the Northeastern Implant Symposium. The four meetings are tuition free to students and provide excellent educational opportunities. In addition to these meetings, students are encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Periodontology.

A requirement of the program is the deliverance of a scientific presentation by each resident at either the Metropolitan Periodontal Forum or the Northeastern Implant Symposium. In addition, students are required to take part in one research project.