Program Director: Mira Ghaly, DMD, MS
Assistant Professor
Program administrative support contact: Jacquelyn Byrd
Department phone: (706) 721-9086
Department fax: (706)  723-0215
Program length: 36 months
No. of residents accepted: 3 - 4/yr
PASS participant: Yes
MATCH participant: Yes
Accreditation status: The program in Doctor of Dental Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of Approval without Reporting Requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.
Beginning date: July 1 each year
National Boards: Applicants must have successfully passed both Parts I and II of the National Board dental examination by the program start date.

Admission Requirements:

Dentists graduated from accredited United States and Canadian or other international dental schools that possess equivalent educational background and standing are eligible for admission to the Advanced Education Program in Periodontics.

We only accept candidates who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.

All applicants must apply through the PASS program. All items, with the exception of the photo, and the items listed under the supplemental application information should be sent through PASS.  The application deadline is August 1.  Qualified applicants will be contacted for interviews following the deadline, and candidates are encouraged to submit application materials prior to the deadline as the review process of completed applications will begin at that time. Application materials are reviewed and candidates with the highest qualifications are selected for an interview based on the following criteria: dental and pre-professional education transcripts, class standing, National Dental Board Examination results, personal and career goals, experiences beyond the dental student program education, evidence of scholarly activity, and letters of recommendation. Applicants born outside the United States and whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the Internet-based version of TOEFL (iBT TOEFL). Minimum scores are 100, and 26 in the speaking component.

See the Augusta University Catalog  for more information.

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The Certificate Program

The Advanced Education Program in Periodontics is a course of study leading to the award of a Certificate in Periodontics.  The program provides a comprehensive course of study in clinical and didactic periodontics, satisfying the requirements for eligibility for the American Board of Periodontology.

The program provides the residents with evidence based biological, scientific and clinical information and experiences to diagnose and treat all forms of periodontal disease at a proficient level.  The resident becomes thoroughly familiar with the periodontal literature and receives broad clinical experiences in examination, prognosis determination, and all accepted modes of periodontal therapy.  Residents are encouraged to continue learning experiences after completion of the program by means of the critical review of the literature, active participation in continuing education, leadership in organized dentistry and clinical research.  Hospital dentistry and a varied patient population are achieved through Augusta University Medical Center and an affiliation with the Veterans Administration Medical Center Outpatient Dental Clinic.

Candidates for admission should possess academic credentials placing them in the upper 1/3 of their class and should demonstrate a definite interest in periodontics.  Additional experience beyond dental school including internships, residencies, private practice, military service or graduate studies will strengthen the applicant’s credentials.  A personal site visit and interview is usually required for acceptance into the program.

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Tuition, Stipends, Equipment and Benefits

Program Fees:
An annual program fee for international candidates with degrees from foreign dental schools is $18,500.  Internationally trained candidates must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.  Additional program fees may be assessed for the the cost of specialty related certifications in IV Sedation, Head and Neck Anatomy, AAP In-Service Exam, and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). These courses are offered exclusively to Augusta University residents at a reduced cost.  Residents wishing to enroll in the Master of Science in Oral Biology degree program must pay tuition for courses taken through the College of Graduate Studies. References should be made to the current Augusta University Catalog for specific information regarding Graduate School tuition and fees. 

Stipends are available only for residents who are U.S Citizens or Permanent Residents and have a DDS/DMD degree from an ADA/CODA accredited dental school.  The residents in periodontics share a stipend funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Augusta V.A. Medical Center.  Associated with this stipend is a clinical rotation of one to two half-days per week through the Outpatient Dental Clinic for the VAMC.  The stipend is approximately $9,400-$13,300 per year for each resident.  Augusta, Georgia is a beautiful city with a low cost of living, making Augusta University an ideal location for residency training from a financial standpoint. Residents are encouraged to attend the national AAP meetings and the department will support the resident for some of the expenses incurred from attending.

Periodontic residents are required to furnish their own digital camera and accessories for intra-oral  photography, and purchase reference books. Photographic equipment costs are approximately $2,000.00, and books for under $500.00. The clinic has up-to-date equipment for periodontic and dental implant surgical procedures and monitoring equipment for IV sedation.  All other supplies and equipment associated with the clinical program are provided by the institution.

The Dental College of Georgia provides malpractice insurance coverage for residents while providing patient care at Augusta University. This insurance does not cover any outside dental practice. Periodontic residents are eligible to participate in the Student Health Insurance Plan program at Augusta University.

Residents are entitled to Augusta University employee holidays, though assignments for emergency coverage must be maintained. Residents may be entitled to up to 12 days annual leave, 10 days of professional leave, 5 days of education leave, at the discretion of the Program Director. 12 days of medical leave are also granted to residents as outlined in the Dental College of Georgia Leave Policy for Dental Residents.

The Facilities:
The periodontic residents treat patients in the Periodontics Surgery Clinic located in the Dental College of Georgia.  In the Periodontics Surgery Clinic each resident is assigned an operatory equipped with handpieces and an ultrasonic scaler. The clinic is equipped with state of the art digital periapical and bitewing radiographic capture and has access to panographic and Cone-beam CT Scanning technologies for implant surgery. All radiographic images are captured and stored electronically using MiPACS software. Clinical records, scheduling and billing are all managed electronically with AxiUm dental management software. Residents share office space in the clinic with each study carousel equipped with a computer that is connected to the institutional network for e-mail, library services and internet access.

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Policy for the Advanced-Standing Student

The following policy is designed to permit students with specialty training in Periodontics from foreign, or non-accredited institutions to obtain specialty training in Periodontics at  Augusta University with advanced-standing status. This policy is aligned with Standard 5 of the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation Standards for Advanced Education in Periodontics.

The advanced-standing student must complete the application for admission to the Advanced Education Program in Periodontics and must comply with established interview and selection criteria following the existing protocol. Academic records and transcripts must be evaluated by one of the National Evaluating Services and must be submitted with the application to be verified for equivalency of education and training. National Boards (Part 1 and Part 2) are encouraged but not required.

Didactic Training:
The advanced-standing student’s previous periodontal-specialty-level course work and grades will be assessed with the aid of appropriate agencies to assure a similar curriculum and an acceptable level of performance. Course deficiencies will be addressed by the student’s successful completion of appropriate courses and/or by examination. The advanced-standing student must take any required courses in sequence with the established program curriculum during the credentialing process.

The advanced-standing student must take and pass the American Academy of Periodontology In-Service Examination with an overall percentile ranking (all residents-all years of training) score of 70%.

Clinical Training:
The advanced-standing student will be assigned a variety of patients/procedures and must demonstrate the appropriate levels of skill in periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning, and in the performance of clinical procedures pertinent to the specialty of periodontics. The advanced-standing student’s clinical skills will be evaluated by periodontics faculty by means of clinical supervision and in case presentation format.

Clinical rotations will be modified according to availability, needs and establishment of competency and proficiency. Teaching expectations will be modified according to availability and needs.

The advanced-standing student must perform clinical procedures pertinent to the specialty of periodontics at levels of skill described in the accreditation standards (i.e. exposed, competent and proficient).

The advanced-standing student must prepare fully documented case presentations on patients that have been treated in the Augusta University Periodontics Clinic. These cases must be treated through completion of periodontal therapy.

The advanced-standing student must pass a mock board examination.

Research Training:
The advanced-standing student must conduct a research project and prepare a publishable manuscript for submission to an acceptable, peer-reviewed, professional journal.

The certificate for Advanced Education in Periodontics will be awarded following satisfactory completion of items 1 through 6. The length of training will be determined by the level of knowledge and skill demonstrated by the advanced-standing student, with a minimum expectation of 18 months of full time effort.

Students with dental degrees from foreign institutions, not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association will be assessed an annual Program Fee of $18,500 to cover the educational costs of the program.

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The Curriculum

The Periodontic Postdoctoral Program curriculum has three components:  (1) Periodontics Specialty Courses, (2) Basic Science Core Courses (Oral Biology courses),  and (3) Clinical Core Courses. The curriculum is listed in the Augusta University Course Catalog.  

Periodontal Literature Review (210 hrs):  A seminar on relevant readings in the periodontal literature.  Articles are assigned on specific subjects and critically discussed.  The etiology of periodontal disease, treatment of periodontal disease, and dental implantology are general topics that are presented on alternate years.

Periodontal Specialty Clinic (20 hrs/wk - 3 yrs):  Patients with different types and severity of periodontal disease are treated using current modalities.  Postdoctoral residents receive experiences with all accepted methods of periodontal treatment and with dental implant therapy.

Therapy Seminar I (72 hrs):  This is an orientation course designed to prepare new residents for clinical activities.  It includes seminar discussions and laboratory experiences of common therapeutic techniques used in advanced periodontal therapy, including periodontal data collection, intraoral photography, diagnosis and treatment planning, behavior modification, mucogingival surgery, flaps, pedicle and free gingival grafts.

Periodontal Surgery Seminar (100 hrs):  Residents present intraoral photographic slides which were obtained during periodontal surgery for critical evaluation and discussion of the objectives of the procedure employed, the anticipated results, and alternative methods of treatment.

Periodontal Current/Contemporary Lit Seminar (80 hrs):  This is a literature seminar designed to acquaint residents with the current periodontal literature.  Residents review and discuss articles from current Journals of Periodontology and Clinical Periodontology.

Occlusion (27 hrs):  The literature on the subject of occlusion is reviewed and discussed as it relates to the etiology and treatment of periodontal disease.  Topics, such as neurophysiology of occlusion, parafunction, trauma from occlusion, and secondary traumatism are included.

Periodontal Research Project:  Residents must be involved in a research project and prepare a research manuscript for publication.

Undergraduate Teaching (24 hours):  Residents have responsibility for teaching a course in periodontics to dental hygiene students and assist in clinical instruction for dental student program students.

Interdisciplinary Seminars (40 hrs):  Seminars focusing on the interrelation of periodontics with other specialties, such as endodontics, orthodontics,  pediatric dentistry, and prosthodontics.

Periodontal Practice Management (10 hrs):  Seminar on procedures that are used in a practice limited to periodontics.  Topics include business systems, referrals, office space, management and dental assistant utilization.

Periodontal Pathology (10 hrs):  Histologic alterations of the periodontal tissue associated with various forms of periodontal pathology are studied with the aid of the microscope.  These changes are correlated with clinical signs and symptoms.

Periodontal Case Presentations (200 hrs):  Residents document and present case presentations in a format simulating the oral examination of the American Board of Periodontology.

Periodontal Medicine Seminar (40 hrs): Seminar focuses on the inter-relationship of periodontics and systemic health.

Treating the Medically Complex Patient (40 hrs): Seminar focuses on managing the medically complex patient, and on medical emergencies.

Implant Seminar (40hrs): Residents in Periodontics and Prosthodontics review surgical and restorative topics in implant dentistry.

Interdisciplinary Treatment Planning Seminars (132 hrs):  Residents in periodontics, orthodontics and prosthodontics present the clinical database and diagnosis of patients treated in their specialty clinics.  Discussions are held on the etiology, prognosis and treatment plans for these patients.

The Core Curriculum
Basic Science (Oral Biology) and Clinical Core Courses, listed below are taken along with residents from other specialty programs.  In addition to these courses residents also participate in an anesthesia rotation through the operating room of the Augusta University Hospital.

Oral Biology Courses:

  • Topics in Oral Biology I:   Hard Tissue Biology, TMJ Disorders, Regeneration/Repair
  • Topics in Oral Biology II:   Orofacial Infections, Bleeding Disorders
  • Topics in Oral Biology III:   Pain & Anxiety, Dental Management of the Medically Compromised Patient, Salivary Glands
  • Topics in Oral Biology IV:   Molecular Pathology, Orofacial Anomalies
  • Seminar in Oral Biology
  • Research

 Clinical Core Courses:

  • Physical Diagnosis
  • Dental Implantology 
  • Dental Radiology
  • Orthodontics
  • Research Design & Statistics
  • Practice Management
  • Ethics & Professionalism

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The Master's Degree Program

The Graduate School offers a Master of Science in Oral Biology degree which may be taken in conjunction with the certificate curriculum.  This joint program gives the student more extensive experience in research and basic science education and requires an in-depth original research project leading to a defended thesis.  Tuition is charged on a per hour basis for the graduate courses taken.  The applicant must be accepted by the Graduate School and the Department of Oral Biology.  Application to the graduate program is made after acceptance to the certificate program. 

A  PhD. in Oral Biology may also be pursued concurrently with specialty training.

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Gainful Employment Disclosure

This information is currently being updated.


Augusta University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educational institution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam War Era veteran.