Philosophy & Goals

The University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, as a part of the continuing tradition of Catholic education, is committed to provide quality dental care to our patients and to serve as a source of information and education to the community.

Through our dedication to excellence in teaching and research, the School of Dentistry strives to develop technically and diagnostically skilled, scientifically based, socially and ethically sensitive dental professionals who are committed to continued professional growth and development.


The goal of the postdoctoral certificate program in Periodontology is to guide students as they achieve their goal of becoming highly skilled specialists who will take their place in and make their contribution to our diverse society. The program will provide students a wide range of experiences and depth of study that will prepare them for clinical practice, research and teaching. The program will provide a context in which students may develop ethical and cultural competence (a set of behaviors, attitudes and policies that enables the professional to work effectively in multi-cultural situations, thereby enhancing outcomes). The program is designed to meet the eligibility requirements of the American Dental Association for specialization in periodontics and will prepare students for the certification examinations given by the American Board of Periodontology.


The Periodontics Graduate Program at the University of Detroit Mercy is a 35-month full-time comprehensive program that offers a Certificate in Periodontics and a Master of Science. The curriculum has been developed so that on completion, the student will have attained the following:

  • Competency in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases.
  • Competency in non-surgical and surgical treatment modalities.
  • Competency in the placement and maintenance of dental implants.
  • Competency in the management of medically compromised patients.
  • Competency in advanced oral plastic surgical procedures.
  • Competency in the use of advanced information technological systems.
  • Competency in the administration of light parental conscious sedation and advanced cardiac life support.
  • Competency in the scientific and evidence-based management of patient care.
  • The didactic knowledge, as well as the diagnostic, treatment, and maintenance skills necessary for successful completion of the American Board of Periodontology examination.
  • The knowledge and skills necessary to prepare the student for a successful clinical practice, or a position in academics or research.

During the first year, students begin the summer semester with didactic courses as part of the core curriculum. These include advanced head and neck anatomy and embryology, microbiology, epidemiology and pharmacology. Students receive a major part of the didactic training, and learn to employ all of the diagnostic and therapeutic techniques employed in clinical periodontics on the patients assigned to them during the course of their first year in the program. The students' clinical experiences are enhanced by in-depth reviews of both current and classic periodontal literature throughout their training, beginning in the first year.

At the end of the first year of training, the students will attend a didactic course in Light Parental Conscious Sedation. The second year is devoted to comprehensive treatment of complex cases, further acquisition of an in-depth knowledge of the periodontal literature, and refinement of skills in the more sophisticated treatment techniques.

During the third year, students conduct in-depth reviews of current technologies and topics of current interest in periodontics. Clinical skills in periodontics and IV sedation are refined and results of therapy are carefully analyzed.

In addition to clinical experience in the dental school, each Periodontics Graduate Student assists in hospital oral surgical procedures and is also given the opportunity to perform certain procedures.

All of our students are encouraged to actively pursue certification with the American Board of Periodontology. To help prepare them for Part I of the ABP examination, we participate in the annual American Academy of Periodontology In-service Examinations. In addition, each student gives a formal case presentation at the end of each year of the three-year program. These case presentations are modeled after the format set by the ABP for their examinations.