Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program 
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
School of Dental Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
3501 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15216
Phone: (412) 648-8416
Fax: (412) 648-8435

Program Length and Number of Positions

This is a 24-month program beginning July 1 of each year. Two new positions are offered each year.

Program Type

University-based certificate program with an option for a Master of Dental Science


The application deadline is October 1 of the year preceding matriculation. Correspondence regarding application and admissions procedures should be addressed to: 

Office of Residency Education, School of Dental Medicine, 3501 Terrace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.

Applicants must apply through the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS), with an application deadline of October 1. The program is a member of the MATCH Service.


This program prepares residents in the advanced diagnostic and clinical techniques necessary to provide specialty and preventive dental care to children, adolescents and individuals with special needs. The program’s didactic and clinical components are designed to advance the resident’s knowledge in all aspects of pediatric dentistry. Upon successful completion of the program, residents meet the advanced education eligibility requirements of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry examination.


The multifaceted advanced pediatric dentistry curriculum integrates scientific principles and methods with the clinical application of pediatric dentistry. Ample time is provided for either basic science or clinical research. Opportunities exist for community and dental public health clinic experiences. In addition to the core curriculum for all specialty residents, the following pediatric dentistry conferences are offered to the residents: behavior management, board review, cleft palate/craniofacial abnormalities, clinical pediatric dentistry, diagnosis and case presentation, first professional teaching, growth and development, hospital inpatient treatment, interceptive orthodontics, operating room dentistry, pediatric medicine, pharmacological patient management, pulp therapy, special needs patient management and traumatology.

Rotations in pediatric general anesthesia, pediatric medicine and emergency room medicine are provided at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Residents have teaching responsibilities in the preclinical dental simulation clinic, as well as in the predoctoral pediatric dentistry and special needs clinic.

A research project with an oral defense is also required.

Program Stipend and Tuition

Tuition is charged; $37,726 for in-state residents and $46,606 for out-of-state residents per year. First-year stipend is $24,000. Second-year stipend is $24,000.


  • University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pediatric Dentistry
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Admission Requirements

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

  • D.D.S. or D.M.D. from an accredited dental school in the U.S. or Canada
  • Academic qualifications that exhibit the potential for success
  • National Board Dental Examination results that demonstrate a high level of competency
  • Three letters of recommendation; one from the pediatric dental chair/director
  • Personal interview

Program Strengths

  • Provides clinical experiences in varied settings with the opportunity to provide care to patients with special needs
  • Strong didactic background is presented to integrate scientific principles into the clinical practice of pediatric dentistry
  • Option exists to pursue a Master of Dental Science degree

Program Faculty

*Deborah Studen-Pavlovich, D.M.D., Professor/ Chair/Program Director
Margaret A. Elliott, D.D.S., M.P.H., Associate Professor
Adriana Modesto-Vieira, D.D.S., D.M.D., M.S., Ph.D, Assistant Professor
Neelima Chiniwalla, D.M.D. M.D.S., Clinical Assistant Professor (part-time)
Joseph Giovannitti, Jr. D.M.D., Associate Professor, Anesthesia (part-time)
Jack Pechersky, D.M.D., M.D.S., Clinical Associate Professor (part-time)
*Joseph Petrone, D.D.S., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, Orthodontics (part-time)
Dennis Ranalli, D.D.S., M.D.S., Professor
Aaron Valasek, D.M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor (part-time)

* Board Certified

School Profile


Program Type: University-based
Program Director: Full-Time
Program Faculty: 3 Full-Time
4 Part-Time
Program Length: 24 Total Months
July 1 Start Date
Program Accreditation: Approved
State Licensure:  
Number of Entering Positions: 2
Tuition In-State: 37,726 First Year
37,726 Second Year
Tuition Out-Of-State: 46,606 First Year
46,606 Second Year
Application: October 1 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: 1:25
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
Didactic Experience: Seminars
Literature Review
Case Conferences
Research Requirement: Data Collection Project
Teaching Experience: Yes Clinic Half-Days
Yes Lecture/Presentations
Facilities: 8 Chair/Operatories
1 Clinic Receptionist
3 Dental Assistants
0 Dental Hygienists