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4 Post Graduate Options for General Dentistry

The Best Guide to Pursuing more Education in General Dentistry: Everything You Need to Know!

Unfortunately, some dental students lack the essential guidance on what comes after graduation. You received your degree, so now what?

post graduate dental school

You may see your classmates applying for post-graduate residencies such as periodontics or orthodontics, and it appears that everything in their future is planned for them but you feel lost and confused because you have no idea what to do!

Or, you applied to a residency because you DO want to specialize. However, you were sadly not accepted. You intend to submit another application again next year, but you are unsure of how to spend your time now fruitfully. What can you do to help strengthen your application and increase the probability of being accepted in the next upcoming application cycle?

The financial burden attached to dentistry can be daunting, ranging from $200-$500k! So, I understand if the desire is NOT to increase your debt further or if you’re just ready to stop eating ramen noodles and start living the ‘good life!’

What if want to start working?

You can still learn! Quite honestly, this is a recommendation for dentists of all levels of practice. Dentistry is a profession that requires clinicians to stay up to date on techniques and materials.

Be ready to fork over some cash! There are great continuing education courses available, but they come at a price! This is one reason why I started this blog, to offer more accessible and affordable resources to learn dentistry. Subscribe to get the best information from a dentist with a passion for learning (haha, self-promotion, but seriously, join the angels!)

So, what do I recommend? I'm glad you asked...

Spear Education: Their membership can cost anywhere from about $300 to… well a lot! It depends on what tier level you desire. I signed up for the lowest level (YES, they offer student rates), and I learned so much! I love the storytelling of Frank Spear, the humor of Gregg Kinzer, the soothing voice of Bob Winter, and the electric energy of Ricardo Mitrani. If you’re reading this and eating ramen noodles, they also offer some FREE information on their site, so don’t miss out!

Dawson Academy: They are pretty similar to Spear Education. Honestly, I think all of the guys were buds, but each platform offers education uniquely, so check them out to see what teaching styles are more beneficial to you!

More learning resources include the Pankey Institute and Walter Reed Continuing Education (yes, civilians can participate). Be sure to take advantage of the continuing education courses provided by associations such as the American Dental Association (ADA), the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentists (AAED) and their corresponding journal articles.


Alright, what are post-graduate options?


This is my TOP choice!

This program is either 1 or 2 years and is available to civilian and military dentists. More hands-on training in dentistry is emphasized and with a decision to specialize, the complication of the program will help boost your application.


Generally, GPRs are usually more hospital-based working alongside Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) residents or oral surgery fellows. Performing tasks such as sedation, emergency room procedures, or dentistry on high-risk patients.

These programs are fantastic if the desire is to be accepted into a periodontics or oral surgery program.

#3: Operative Dentistry Residency

This is a program that most people just don’t understand. So if you want to find out more, check out this blog post on what operative dentistry is.

Post graduate dental school options

This is a program that is often misunderstood. Check out this blog post to read more on operative dentistry.

Operative dentistry is a 3-year program focusing on aesthetic, preventive dentistry, and research and some programs offer a certificate in biomaterials. I would recommend this program to dentists who desire a career in academia and prefer not to do an AEGD.

#4: Comprehensive Residency

If you haven’t heard of operative dentistry then it’s likely that you also haven’t heard of comprehensive dentistry. It is a program that offers even more training similar to an AEGD program to dentists to acquire more clinical dentistry skills.

It is a 2-year program but at this time is offered only to military dentists. Comprehensive dentists are the jack of all trades and will do a lot of everything with a lot more knowledge.

Here are words of CAUTION!

Do the research and ask current residents to determine what the individual programs are like. Not all programs are created equally!

Want to watch the video? Here you go!


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