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Welcome to UNM's Dental Residency Program

Photo: Group of residency students

Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD)

The mission of the University of New Mexico Division of Dental Services is to provide comprehensive dental care for New Mexico’s underserved and medically complex patients and to serve as an educational model in clinical diagnosis, treatment, research and resources in caring for these populations.

The division developed a one-year postdoctoral Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency in July 2004. The program graduated its first residents in June 2005.

The residency program has many unique features. Most patient care takes place away from the medical center, at the Camino De Salud Residency Clinic, which has the look and feel of a private dental practice. The residency clinic also houses the Dental Ambulatory Surgery Center, where sedation dentistry is practiced. Residents experience aspects of hospital dentistry through inpatient hospital consultations, coverage of the emergency room and treating dental patients in the operating room.

The AEGD Program provides the best possible environment for dental graduates to further their education through providing advanced comprehensive oral health care to medically compromised and special needs populations. And, they gain this experience while living in a beautiful Southwestern setting.

About the residency program

The primary objective of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine is to provide training opportunities in all the clinical dental disciplines, applied clinical sciences, patient care and community service. This one‑year program is based primarily at the UNM Camino de Salud residency dental facility with limited and elective hospital assignments. The program’s basic objective is to enhance clinical skills and knowledge in various phases of general dentistry and the ability to obtain and evaluate primary source material related to the dentistry and apply it to clinical in an evidence-based method. The program also includes lectures, seminars, presentations and other didactic coursework.

Serving the Underserved

Residents enrolled at UNM's AEGD program have a unique opportunity to practice in underserved communities throughout the state.  Read more about the dentist shortage in New Mexico.

Many AEGD alumni have chosen to practice in the Albuquerque metropolitan area or in rural communities elsewhere in New Mexcio. Our alumni also work with underserved populations in a variety of public health situations.

Apply to the AEGD program

Application guidelines

  • All applicants must hold a DDS, DMD or equivalent degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian dental school prior to admission to the program.
  • Prospective candidates may download an application from the Match registration portal. The portal provides a standardized format, relieving applicants of the need to complete multiple applications.

Material must be submitted by January 10, 2019. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Thank you for applying to the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. We are looking for applicants who have integrity and good interpersonal skills – someone who is a team player, assumes responsibility and is reliable.

We evaluate applicant essays, externships or extracurricular experiences in general (or specialty) dentistry, letters of evaluation, general extracurricular experiences, public health experience or other work experience, GPR/AEGD/other specialty advanced program completions, publications, presentations and research.

Admissions policy and process

The AEGD program is open to graduates of American Dental Association accredited DDS or DMD programs in the U.S. or equivalent programs in Canada. Applicants must have passed Part I of the National Dental Board Examination and must pass Part II of the National Dental Board Examination prior to beginning the AEGD residency.

For the 2018-2019 application cycle, the UNM School of Medicine AEGD residency program participates in PASS and the Match. The program also does not require applicants to take the Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT).

Professional Evaluation Form

The Professional Evaluation Form (PEF) is available in the ADEA PASS application.

The Professional Evaluation Form (PEF) is the mandatory letter of recommendation. It does not limit evaluators to a specific topic as special or unique applicant experiences can be highlighted. The AEGD program at UNM requires three (3) letters of professional evaluation. ADEA PASS will process the PEFs per designation.

The Institution Evaluation Form (IEF, also called the dean's letter) is an evaluation of the applicant completed by the dean of the dental school attended. The completed IEF is then sent to every program a candidate applies to. Included in the IEF are NBDE scores or results, a narrative statement and GPA and class rank (if applicable). This evaluation is required for every applicant.

The Admissions Committee reviews applications and conducts interviews. We do not mandate a specific minimum grade point average or board score. However, a personal interview at UNM is required prior to admission. Acceptances are issued when interviews are completed. Once a candidate accepts a position at UNM, the AEGD program will issue a letter of engagement to candidates. Candidates who accept a position are required to withdraw from the Match if they are registered for it.

UNM policies are followed with regard to resident selection. The Division of Dental Services considers all applicants for admission to its AEGD program without regard for ethnicity, creed, religion, handicap, national origin, gender or age.

Philosophical Assumptions

The educational program and its service component rests on a "person-centered" philosophy:

  • Knowledge is relative and does not exist in a vacuum. Absolute correctness is not subscribed to.
  • The learner is an experiencing, thinking, exploring individual.
  • The thinking process is more important than the content.
  • Teaching and learning rely on scientific knowledge.

These philosophical assumptions rely on fundamental preconditions regarding the teaching-learning process:

  • The teacher or authority trusts in the capacity of others to think and learn for themselves.
  • The teacher shares with residents the responsibility for learning.
  • The teacher provides learning resources.
  • The resident helps develop his/her program of learning.
  • The emphasis is on fostering learning.
  • The resident’s self-discipline springs from within and cannot be forced from the outside. However, the program offers a structure that supports self-discipline.
  • The resident is the primary evaluator of the extent and significance of his or her learning, but it is influenced by feedback from the teachers. If minimal learning is not occurring despite repeated feedback, the faculty and administration will consider other avenues of remediation.

It is understood that the program’s educational and service objectives will be in conflict at times. These objectives are not mutually exclusive and share common elements.

Goals and competencies

Your residency training rests on specific objectives and competencies. These objectives are used to meet the the program’s goals. Proficiencies and competencies are tools that measure the resident’s success in meeting the objectives. Proficiency is a higher level of achievement than competency. Consequently, a resident can move from competency to proficiency in the course of the year.

  1. Act as a primary care provider for individuals and groups of patients. This includes providing emergency and multidisciplinary comprehensive oral health care, providing patient-focused care that is coordinated by the general practitioner, directing health promotion and disease-prevention activities and using advanced dental treatment modalities.
  2. Plan and provide multidisciplinary oral health care for a wide variety of patients, including those with special needs.
  3. Manage oral health care delivery by applying concepts of patient and practice management and quality improvement that are responsive to a dynamic health care environment.
  4. Function effectively within interdisciplinary health care teams.
  5. Apply scientific principles to learning and oral health care. This includes using critical thinking, evidence- or outcomes-based clinical decision-making and technology-based information retrieval systems.
  6. Use the values of professional ethics, lifelong learning, patient-centered care, adaptability and acceptance of cultural diversity in professional practice.
  7. Understand the oral health needs of communities and engage in community service.

These goals are assessed quarterly through multiple evaluations (both of and by the residents) and through an end-of-the-year questionnaire administered to the residents. Periodic surveys of recent graduates will also be used to supplement the data collected. These data are reviewed by the program director and faculty and if needed, appropriate action is taken to improve the resident experience.

This program intends for each individual to become competent or even proficient in each of the goals. It is expected that your clinical and didactic experiences will enable you to attain a level of skill and complexity far beyond that achieved in dental school.


UNM’s Advanced Education In General Dentistry residency program provides a one-year experience in general dentistry in outpatient clinics, the operating room and a hospital setting.

The program provides an opportunity and the structure to achieve these competencies, but it is the resident's responsibility to gather the documentation that these skills have been attained. Full- or part-time faculty members will complete most of this documentation on standard forms.

At the conclusion of the one-year program, each resident should have fulfilled a set of  expected competencies [PDF].

Course curriculum

The curriculum includes didactic and clinical core elements in which all residents are required to participate, as well as elective assignments. Residents attend seminars, as well as local continuing education programs offered by organized dentistry throughout the academic year.

We have created a 10-week Special Care Dentistry curriculum,,which covers developmental disabilities, geriatrics, sedation and anesthesia, as well as hospital-based dentistry. Lectures, seminars, presentations, hands-on activities and other didactic coursework are part of this curriculum. 

Click below to view each specialty area:

Objectives: Residents will learn to treat patients with developmental disabilities and qualify to use the New Mexico Department of Health “Special Needs Code” for higher reimbursement through clinic rotations, sedation clinic, operating room rotations, seminars and self-study modules. The seminar will cover specific developmental disabilities, management of maladaptive behaviors, use of restraints and positioning devices, use of sedation, treatment planning, prevention and legal issues.

Objectives: Residents will study the principles of geriatric dentistry and learn about the demographics and social trends of the aging population, clinical issues and treatment approaches for geriatric patients and pharmacological issues affecting dental therapy, while gaining an understanding of dementia in older people. This curriculum includes a denture fabrication workshop wherein residents will be trained in a technique used by HIS dentists to quickly and predictably fabricate dentures.

Objectives: Will review pediatric emergencies, management of oral infections, recognition of abuse, behavior management, pediatric restorative techniques, recognition of dental malocclusion and space maintenance.

Objectives: Residents will have clinical and didactic experience using nitrous oxide sedation, oral sedation and parenteral sedation techniques. The clinical experience will also involve treating patients under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Residents who complete and pass a rigorous I.V. sedation selective that meets the ADA Guidelines for Teaching Pain Control and Sedation to Dentists and Dental Students will qualify to apply for a I.V. conscious sedation certificate in most states. Issuance of this certificate is the prerogative of states’ dental boards and not of the residency program. 

Objectives: As part of the sedation curriculum, residents will receive training and certification in both Basic Life support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support during the residency year.

Objectives: In addition to treating patients in an operating room setting, residents will learn formal operating room protocols, as well as the required gowning and gloving techniques.

Objectives: Identify the critical steps for commonly used techniques in prosthodontics, understand procedures based on selected dental articles, share experiences and compare the clinical merits of various techniques.

Objectives: The primary objective is to familiarize residents with the basic biologic and technical aspects of osseointegrated implants. This is “hands on” preparation for further clinical experience. The goal is for each resident to develop a treatment plan for a patient requiring a lower implant overdenture, to place the implants and fabricate the overdenture. Bone grafting techniques are also taught.

Objectives: The main goal is to allow residents to explore various topics in clinical dentistry in a problem-oriented manner, using Case Presentation, Journal Club, General Practice Presentation and Medical/Dental Interrelationships.

Objectives: Critically evaluate the dental and medical literature, perform literature searches, use the computer in literature search, word processing and data management and lead small groups. This is CERP-certified for continuing education credit. Community dentists are invited to attend.

Objectives: Use interdepartmental consultations to plan patient treatment, prepare well-organized case reports, speak before groups and understand the behavioral aspects of clinical dentistry.

Objectives: This is six-part seminar gives the resident a foundation in the use of clinical Spanish.

Objectives: The resident will learn to evaluate, diagnose and treat occlusal problems and how to evaluate the temperomandibular joint. This course combines seminars and clinical evaluation of patients.

Objectives: To recognize and treat endodontic emergencies, diagnose endodontic problems and master filling techniques for single and multirooted teeth. Clinical experience will be gained in surgical endodontics (apicoectomy and retrograde fillings, hemisection, incision and drainage). Treatment of avulsed teeth (apexification, bleaching, pulpotomie). To become familiar with rotary endodontic techniques.

Objectives: The objectives are met through both clinical and didactic interaction. Seminars cover various issues in oral surgery, particularly the physical evaluation of a patient for surgery. This is followed by clinical patient treatment. Dental alveolar surgery skills will be taught, including surgical extractions, removal of impacted teeth and pre-prosthetic surgery. Additional seminars concerning surgical techniques are also provided.

Objectives: This seminar will teach the resident to understand the differential diagnosis for orofacial pain. Neuropathic pain, headache disorders, muscle pain, disorders of the TMJ and oromotor disorders are examined. The pharmacology of pain management is discussed.

Objectives: To teach residents about personal finances, types of insurance coverage a dentist should consider and dealing with debt. The series will also deal with the in and outs of practice acquisition, as well as types of practice arrangements.

Objectives: The objectives are met through both clinical and didactic interaction. Residents will learn how periodontal status affects fixed and removable prosthetic design, understand indications and contraindications for periodontal flaps, learn basic flap design and management, understand the use of different types of bone grafts, understand guided tissue regeneration and understand how resorbable and nonresorbable barriers work. The seminar will also provide more in-depth knowledge of endosseous implants, both from the surgical and prosthetic perspective.

Monthly seminars explore and discuss issues regarding social/behavioral problems as they relate to dentistry and oral health. Each resident will prepare a presentation around a social/behavioral problem or issue. In these seminars, residents take part in facilitated discussions that build on the broader aspects of a health care provider’s professional and personal development.

Objectives: In addition to the formal Patient Care Conferences, faculty meets twice weekly with residents in a group setting to conduct treatment planning sessions. 

Objectives: It is important that dentists understand the role that forensic odontology plays in human identification, missing and unidentified persons investigation, human and animal bitemarks investigation, mass fatality incident management, age estimation and civil litigation. Residents will enjoy and learn a great deal of this subject. Included in the seminars are Dr. Loomis’s personal experiences with Hurricanes Ike and Katrina, September 11, 2001, and the ongoing investigation of the West Mesa serial homicides of 11 murdered females.

Objectives: In addition to invited speakers on professionalism, the program uses the online curriculum developed by the American College of Dentists, residents will examine real-life situations to apply the principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision-making and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care and practice management.

Objectives: This seminar teaches residents diagnostic and management techniques for various oral pathologies, oral mucosal lesions, and the management of patients undergoing head and neck radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. 

Photo: UNM HospitalRequired Rotations

Consultations (Throughout the year)
When residents are on call, inpatient consultation requests will come from various hospital departments. Residents will be exposed to patients with a broad range of medical and emotional conditions and work closely with other health professionals. In addition, on call residents will provide patient services to UNM Hospital Emergency Department.

Delivering Care in Operating Room (Throughout the year)
The Division of Dental Services has block time at the UNM Hospital and Children’s Hospital operating rooms. Each resident will be assigned to this rotation with faculty who admit patients for treatment in the operating room under general anesthesia. The dental resident, supervised by attending faculty, will become comfortable with operating room protocol and perform all duties related to admission and pre- and post-operative care.

VA Hospital Albuquerque (one month)
Residents will rotate through the Albuquerque Veterans Affairs Hospital, mainly practicing prosthetic dentistry. Residents will gain experience in implant placement, experience with use of Cerec Cad-Cam technology, as well as cone beam technology and endodontics.

Frequently asked questions

Click on each question below for more information:

No. International students are not eligible to apply to the AEGD programs unless they have a degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian dental school.

Yes the program is accredited without reporting requirements.

Yes. AEGD residents are paid at the same scale as first-year medical residents. Medical, vision, disability, life and professional liability insurance benefits are also provided, as well as annual leave, professional leave, educational leave, sick leave, catastrophic leave and maternity leave.

The application deadline is January 10, 2019. Late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applications are reviewed and interviews are conducted. Once a candidate is approved, the program director will formally notify the candidate of acceptance. This program does participate in the MATCH and results are released to applicants and program directors January 28, 2019.

Ten resident positions are available.

Phone the Residency Program Coordinator at 505-925-7699  any time to find out whether your application is complete.

Applicants must have a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited U.S. or Canadian dental school.

No. The New Mexico Dental Board issues a temporary license to dentists to participate in the residency program. For activity outside the training program (i.e., moonlighting) you must have a New Mexico dental license. New Mexico accepts the WREB, NERB and CRDTS regional examinations.

GRE and TOEFL scores are not required, but applicants are welcome to submit these scores if they feel that it enhances their application.

No. Many of the staff are bilingual and the program offers a seminar in clinical Spanish.

Yes. Please contact the residency program coordinator to find out more information.

New Postgraduate Year 2 Residency Program

The deadline to apply to the new Postgraduate Year 2 Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency is November 30, 2018. The program, which has two open spots, is designed to refine and enhance residents’ clinical skills to improve general dentistry.

The program begins July 1, 2019. Students who have completed their first year of postgraduate General Practice Residency or the AEGD program are eligible to apply [PDF]