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 to nine 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 ColoradoATTN:Dickerson, Chelsea13123 E. 16th Ave., B240Aurora, CO 80045Correspondence regarding application and admissions procedures should be addressed to:Dickerson, Chelsea, Children’s Hospital Colorado, 13123 E. 16th Ave., B240, Aurora, CO 80045; (720) 777-4044;*All supplemental material must be received by September 15*


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 among the “Top 10” nationally in the 2022-2023 U.S. News & World Report survey. Our excellent professional staff as well as a large patient pool provides an enriching 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 at the Children’s Hospital Health Pavilion as part of a multidisciplinary care facility. Pediatric dental care is also provided at the North Campus Dental Center and at the Children’s Hospital located on the Anschutz Medical Campus along with all other medical and dental institutions affiliated with the University of Colorado thereby serving patients and families from seven mountain states.We offer in-person and virtual externships. For more information, please contact Ms. Chelsea Dickerson (


The comprehensive curriculum offers ample didactic, simulated, and patient care opportunities for all residents to develop their knowledge, critical thinking, diagnostic abilities, and clinical skills. Additional experiences in interdisciplinary medical-dental patient care provide residents a deeper understanding of comprehensive holistic care.The clinical curriculum is designed to further the residents’ ability to work as independently as a competent pediatric dentist and apply various soft skills such as effective communication with patient and families from diverse cultural backgrounds. . Additionally, 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, public health, and research methodology. Weekly lectures, seminars, case-studies, critical appraisals, and topic-specific journal clubs are provided on vital pediatric dental topics including child development, behavior management, orthodontic topics, preventive care, cariology, interceptive orthodontics, oral and intranasal conscious sedation, emergency preparedness, general anesthesia, ethics, naso-alveolar molding (NAM), laser dentistry, craniofacial syndromes, , case management for patients with complex medical needs, and evidence-based dentistry. These educational sessions are provided in variety of learning formats including case-based reviews, patient-based simulations, problem-based learning, flipped classroom, and triple-jump assessments to prepare residents to critically evaluate patient findings, plan treatment and predict prognosis of care using evidence-based knowledge. Residents also get abundant opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills while teaching predoctoral students in preclinical and clinical courses.

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


  • Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
  • Children's Colorado Health Pavilion, Aurora
  • North Campus, Broomfield

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 3.4 or higher-Dental school class rank above the 80th percentile (We are aware that some dental schools no longer use rank or report GPA)-Have a letter of recommendation from a pediatric dental faculty and/or pediatric pre-doctoral directorThis 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 ColoradoATTN: Dickerson, Chelsea13123 E 16th Ave., B240Aurora, 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 and problem-based learning experiences are provided in select courses to further enhance the quality of resident learning.
  • Excellent balance between didactic and clinical experiences.
  • We provide 230 units of formal didactic instruction per academic year.
  • Large patient pool with healthy and special health care needs patients.
  • All full-time faculty members and most adjunct faculty members are Diplomates of the ABPD.
  • Excellent faculty-resident ratio
  • In-depth procedural sedation, emergency, and hospital dentistry training.
  • Emergency simulation in the Simulation Lab with a simulstate of the art SimMan (manikin)
  • Didactic and clinical experiences in interceptive orthodontics and experiences with craniofacial anomalies.
  • Availability of outstanding consultants in all areas of health care.
  • Modern facility with digital integrated medical-dental electronic records (Epic Wisdom®).
  • Haiku® secure portal for effective and timely coordination of care with faculty especially during afterhours
  • Availability of Biolase hard tissue laser, Diagnodent™, STA Single Tooth Anesthesia® System, digital radiography, and cone-beam computed tomography images.
  • One dental assistant per resident.
  • Teaching experience as part of the Predoctoral dental program
  • Dedicated faculty mentorship and research project support
  • Residents receive a competitive salary plus benefits and no tuition.
  • Modern clinic management with focus on providing excellent care and service.

Program Faculty

Chaitanya Puranik*, BDS, MS, PhD, Interim Program DirectorAbidin Hakan Tuncer* , DDS, DMD, MPH, FSCD Clinical Associate ProfessorCristina Leon-Pineda*, DMD, MPH, MSD, Director Residency ProgramMegan Weber*, DMD Ph.DAnne Wilson, * DDS, MS, ProfessorAdjunct FacultyKristin Christiansen*, DDSJoanna Douglass*, BDSMeredith Ghivizzani*, DMD, MSChelsie Gritzmacher*, DMDDan Hoang*, DMDWinnie Hsu*, DMDDonald Hull*, DDS (Oral Surgeon)Sati Khalsa*, DDSDerek Kirkham*, DDSEric C. Lomas*, DDS (Oral Surgeon)Kristen Lowe*, DDS, MS (Orthodontist)Leslie Murray*, DMDJohn Rubenstrunk*, DDS, MSAnne Shaffer *, DMDPurvi Shah*, DDS, MSElizabeth Shick*, DDS, MPHBrad Smith*, DDS, MSScott Smith*, DDS, MSTamanna Tiwari, BDS, MDS, MPD (General Dentistry/Research)Sarah Villasenor*, DDSKyoko Leann Yoda*, DMD, MSPH, MSD* indicates board certificationFull-Time Dental AnesthesiologistsQuen Ly*, DMD, (Clinical Instructor/Dental Anesthesiologist)Cara Riley*, DMD, MS (Clinical Instructor/Dental Anesthesiologist)* indicates A.D.B.A. board certified


School Profile


Program Type: Hospital-based
Program Director: Full-Time
Program Faculty: 6 Full-Time
23 Part-Time
28 Board Certified
Program Length: 24 Months
July 1 Start Date
Program Accreditation: Approved
State Licensure: Required
State Licensure Required to Begin Program: No
Number of Entering Positions: 9
Tuition In-State: None
Tuition Out-Of-State: None
Salary/Stipend: Contact
Application: $30 Fee. Applications and supplemental materials need to be received by September 15. Late applications will not be considered.
Participant in National
Matching Service:
Participant in PASS: Yes
Only US citizens from ADA 
accredited dental schools 
US citizens from foreign dental schools considered: No
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
Oral Surgery
Infant Oral Health
Medically Compromised
Mentally Disabled
Craniofacial Disorders
Physically Disabled
Community Clinics
Public Health
Minimal and Moderate Sedations
Special Health Care Needs
Behavior Guidance
Didactic Experience: Courses
Case Conferences
Literature Review
Others (see below)
Other Didactic Experience: Grand Rounds
Research Requirement: Thesis
Data Collection Project
Teaching Experience: Yes. Lectures/Presentations during first and second year. Clinical teaching during second year.
Facilities: 15 Chair/Operatories
6 Clinic Receptionist
19 Dental Assistants