Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program 
Children's Hospital Colorado
13123 E. 16th Ave., B240
Aurora, Colorado 80045
Phone: (720) 777-4044
Fax: (720) 777-7239

Program Length and Number of Positions

The residency is a 24-month program commencing July 1 of each year. Currently, eight new positions are offered each year.

Program Type

Hospital-based certificate program


The deadline for the PASS application submissions is September 15 of the year preceding matriculation. The Program requires a portrait photo (JEPG format) and a $30.00 supplemental application processing fee by September 15. All supplemental materials must be submitted directly to the program. Please make the check/money order to “Children’s Hospital Colorado Pediatric Dentistry” and write your full name and PASS ID number in the memo section. Payment should be mailed to the following address:

Children’s Hospital Colorado
ATTN: Leon-Pineda, Cristina
13123 E. 16th Ave., B240
Aurora, CO 80045

Correspondence regarding application and admissions procedures should be addressed to:

 Leon-Pineda, Cristina, Children’s Hospital Colorado, 13123 E. 16th Ave., B240, Aurora, CO 80045; (720) 777-4044;


Our two-year, hospital-based Residency Program in Pediatric Dentistry combines intensive clinical training with comprehensive didactic instruction related to pediatric dentistry. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Individuals who have completed it will meet the advanced education eligibility requirements of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) once they file with the ABPD and pay a filing fee. A Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry is awarded upon successful completion of the program. The program is designed to fully prepare residents for specialty practice, as well as to provide educational opportunities for those who desire to pursue a teaching or research career in pediatric dentistry.

Children’s Hospital Colorado ranks amongst the “Top 10” nationally in the 2017-2018 U.S. News & World Report survey. Our excellent professional staff as well as a large patient pool provides a challenging learning environment. The Dental Center is a modern 20-chair clinic in a 19,000-square foot facility with the necessary equipment to provide efficient dental treatment. It is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus along with all other medical and dental institutions of the University of Colorado Hospital Health Sciences Center. 


The curriculum offers ample patient care opportunities for all residents that will develop residents’ diagnostic abilities, clinical knowledge and skills, as well as their critical judgment. Additional experiences in related medical areas provide residents with a deep understanding of comprehensive care. 

The curriculum includes all topics indispensable to the development of a competent pediatric dentist. It is designed to further the residents’ educational experiences, enhance their ability to think critically and independently, and to communicate accurate information both clearly and effectively. Residents will learn to work with consultants and clinicians in other dental specialties and in medical or allied health fields. 

The didactic program includes selected topics in the basic sciences such as relevant anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, pathology, statistics, and research methodology. We offer weekly lectures, seminars, case studies, and case presentations to develop a strong theoretical knowledge base. Additional lectures, seminars and topic-specific journal clubs are provided on child development, behavior management, orthodontic topics, preventive care including fluorides, cariology, limited orthodontics, sedation and emergency preparedness, general anesthesia, ethics, NAM, laser dentistry, SHCN patients, case management, and evidence-based dentistry besides other pediatric dentistry domains. These encounters will also teach residents how to critically evaluate the scientific literature. Our program integrates principles of evidence-based dentistry into its curriculum as much as possible. 

Program Stipend and Tuition

The program salary adjusts yearly. Please contact the program coordinator if you have any questions about the salary during your application cycle at

Fringe benefits include: health, dental, malpractice insurance and fifteen (15) vacation days each year in addition to all holidays observed by Children’s Hospital Colorado.


  • Children’s Hospital Colorado Dental Center

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the following requirements to be considered for admission:

  • Fourth year dental student or graduate of an ADA-accredited dental school
  • Dental school GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Dental school class rank above the 80th percentile (We are aware that some dental schools no longer use rank or report GPA)

This program participates in the PASS and MATCH programs; therefore, applicants are expected to follow policies and rules of each entity when applying to this program. Please review the application procedures on the PASS Web site. Our program does not require the ADA Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) scores, but will accept the scores as part of the candidate application. The supplemental application materials that need to be submitted directly to the Program by September 15th are a portrait photo (JPEG format) and an application processing fee of $30.00 (check or money order) made to Children’s Hospital Colorado Dental Center. Please write your full name and your PASS ID number in the memo and mail the check to: 

Children’s Hospital Colorado
ATTN: Leon-Pineda, Cristina
13123 E 16th Ave., B240
Aurora, CO 80045

Once accepted, residents are required to purchase a camera, several books, and other supplies during the first two months of their residency (approximate cost: $2,500). Details will be provided during orientation. 

Program Strengths

  • Flipped classroom experience are provided in select courses to further enhance the quality of resident learning.
  • Excellent balance between didactic and clinical experiences in all areas of pediatric dentistry.
  • We provide 230 units of formal didactic instruction (45 min each) focused on pediatric dentistry per academic year.
  • Large patient pool with healthy and special health care needs patients.
  • All 5 full-time faculty members and almost all part-time faculty members are Diplomates of the ABPD.
  • Excellent faculty-resident ratio (6FT faculty, 16 residents).
  • In-depth procedural sedation, emergency, and hospital dentistry training. 
  • Significant didactic and clinical exposure to interceptive orthodontics. 
  • Availability of outstanding consultants in all areas of health care.
  • Modern facility with fully digital EMR system (EPIC).
  • Availability of Biolase hard tissue laser, Diagnodent, STA, digital radiography, CBCT.
  • One dental assistant per resident.
  • Residents receive a competitive salary plus benefits and we charge no tuition.
  • Modern clinic management with focus on providing excellent customer service.

Program Faculty


Katherine Chin, * DDS, MS, Associate Professor, Clinical Medical Director
Cristina Leon-Pineda*, DMD, MPH, MSD, Director Residency Program
Chaitanya Puranik, BDS, MS, PhD, Assistant Professor
Megan Weber, DMD Ph.D 
Anne Wilson, * DDS, MS, Professor/Director, Predoctoral Program, Interim Chair

(* indicates ABPD board certified)

Adjunct Faculty

Kristin Christiansen DDS

Joanna Douglass, BDS
Rebecca Fountain DDS
Chelsi Gritzmacher, DDS
T. Blake Higgins DDS
Joanne Hong DDS DMD
Winnie Hsu DMD
Donny Hull, DDS (Oral Surgeon)
Jeff Kahl, * DDS
Sat Katar Khalsa, DDS
Derek Kirkham * DDS
Cara Mudd, * DDS, MS
Leslie Murray, DMD
Purvi Shah, DMD
John Rubenstrunk, * DDS, MS
Brad Smith, * DDS, MS
Scott Smith, * DDS, MS
Sarah Villaseñor, * DDS
K. Leann Yoda Bachler*, DDS

(* indicates ABPD board certified)

Full-Time Dental Anesthesiologists

Quen Ly, DMD, Clinical Instructor/Dental Anesthesiologist
Cara Riley, DMD, Clinical Instructor/Dental Anesthesiologist

(* indicates A.D.B.A. board certified)

School Profile

Program Type: Hospital-based
Program Director: Full-Time
Program Faculty: 5 Full-Time
22 Part-Time
18 Board Certified
Program Length: 24 Total Months
July 1 Start Date
Program Accreditation: Approved
State Licensure: Required
Number of Entering Positions: 8
Tuition In-State: N/A
Tuition Out-Of-State: N/A
Salary/Stipend: Contact for any stipend information as it adjusts yearly
Application: $30 Fee
September 15 PASS 
September 15 Program Deadline
Participant in National
Matching Service:
Participant in PASS: Yes
Only US citizens from ADA 
accredited dental schools 
US citizens from foreign dental 
schools considered:
Non-US citizens from ADA 
accredited dental schools 
Non-US citizens from foreign 
dental schools considered:
Acceptance Applicant Ratio: 1:30
Clinic Experience: Orthodontics
Conscious Sedation
Hospital Rotations
General Anesthesia
Emergency Call
Operating Room
Infant Oral Health
Medically Compromised
Craniofacial Disorders
Special Health Care Needs
Behavior Guidance
Didactic Experience: Courses
Literature Review
Case Conferences
Research Requirement: Thesis
Data Collection Project
Case Report
Teaching Experience: Yes, During 2nd Year Clinic Half-Days
Yes Lecture/Presentations
Facilities: 15 Chair/Operatories
6 Clinic Receptionist
20 Dental Assistants
1 Dental Hygienists