Pediatric Dentistry

Length of Program: 25 months

Number of Positions: 7

Financial Arrangement: UC Salary Breakdown

Program Director: Dr. David Chin (interim)

The UCLA Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program is a postgraduate certificate program designed to produce strong academically based pediatric dentists who may choose to pursue a career in private practice, community health centers, teaching, or a combination of positions; and who are knowledgeable about disparities in the delivery of dental care, issues around access to dental care, and who advocate for solutions.

The program’s didactic curriculum combines rounds, seminars, and conferences to assure residents achieve a thorough understanding of the biomedical and clinical sciences. Topics include preventive dentistry, growth and development, restorative dentistry, pulp therapy, traumatic dental injuries, oral pathology, behavior guidance, sedation and general anesthesia, pediatric medicine, practice management, research methodology, biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, histology, embryology, genetics, and more. This program provides extensive interdisciplinary experience in preventive oral health and community health with an emphasis on establishing and integrating oral health care programs in conjunction with pediatric health care programs.

Residents receive clinical training in all areas of Pediatric Dentistry including hospital care, management of child behavior, craniofacial growth, and the provision of care utilizing various sedation and anesthesia modalities. Clinical experiences are provided primarily at the UCLA School of Dentistry Pediatric Dentistry Clinics, located at the Westwood Campus and the Venice Dental Center. Along with competency in the traditional areas of the specialty, the program offers strong didactic and clinical orthodontic components to increase residents’ skills in this area.

Pediatric Dentistry residents rotate through various clinical areas within the UCLA Health System that include the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, and the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital to gain expertise in pediatric medicine, general anesthesia, and the management of children with special needs such as those with chronic diseases and developmental disabilities.

Through the Community Access, Reach and Education in Pediatric Dentistry (CARE-PD) program, residents receive traditional didactic and clinical training in pediatric dentistry, which ensures they are adept at providing comprehensive oral health care to infants and children through adolescence. Additionally, residents complete academic courses introducing them to the multiple factors that cause oral disease. Residents apply what they have learned through community-based clinical training, and practicum activities, like experience with community groups to support the oral health issues of children and advocate at the local, state, and national levels for public health policy legislation particularly for underserved populations.

Multiple levels of competencies are developed through a systems-based training program where residents practice advocating at the individual, family, community, and policy levels to promote oral health. Instruction is provided through the academic facilities and faculty at the UCLA School of Dentistry and the UCLA Health System. 

For additional information about the Community Access, Reach and Education in Pediatric Dentistry (CARE-PD) component of the program, click here.

A research project involving the collection and analysis of data resulting in a final comprehensive report of publishable quality is required to complete the program. Individuals who successfully complete this training will meet the advanced education requirements set forth by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and will be eligible to qualify for the Board examination and certification.

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Full-time Faculty

Francisco Ramos-Gomez, DDS, MS, MPH
Dr. Ramos is a professor in the Division of Pediatric Dentistry and the Director for the Pediatric Dentistry Preceptorship Program at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Ramos is also the Principal Investigator of the CHAT-PD grant. Dr. Ramos-Gomez joined the school as a faculty member in 2008.

Adriana Ruiz, DDS

Nini Tran, DDS, PhD
Dr. Tran is an Assistant Professor in the Section of Pediatric Dentistry at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Tran is also a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

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Part-Time Faculty

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Selection Process & Factors

Selected candidates will be invited to interview. If you have been selected, you will be contacted by email and/or letter. No applicant will be accepted into the program without an interview.

Timing of Interviews: Mid-November

The admissions committee considers the following criteria in its decisions:

  • Academic achievement

  • Commitment to Pediatric Dentistry

  • Content of personal statement, including the applicant's reasons for studying Pediatric Dentistry and tentative plans following completion of the course of study

  • Proven interest and involvement in community health and advocacy

  • Extracurricular activities related to Pediatric Dentistry

  • Research experience

  • Overall impression at the personal interview

  • Content of recommendations. Recommendation letters from current or former teachers and/or attending staff are required. These must include four (4) Personal Potential Index (PPI) Evaluations (included in the PASS Application). One must be from the Director of Predoctoral Pediatric Dentistry Education at the applicant's dental school, or a member of the Pediatric Dentistry faculty who is most familiar with the applicant's clinical performance in Pediatric Dentistry. An additional (5th) PPI evaluation from an individual other then dental school faculty is highly desirable. In addition, 2 ADEA PASS Professional Evaluation Forms from individuals familiar with the applicant's clinical and/or academic competencies must be submitted through PASS.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance through the Match service. To find out when results will be available, please consult the Match service. A letter of acceptance signed by the Program Director and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will be issued upon acceptance.

Accreditation Statement

The program in Pediatric Dentistry is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association 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, by visiting, or by mail at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678.