Welcome to Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital’s Dental Residency Program.

Our goal is that all dental graduates gain at least one year of supervised postdoctoral experience in general dentistry before entering general practice or a field of specialization. The goal of such a program is to provide the type of training that will give the dental resident an understanding of the relationships of dental treatment to all other aspects of total health care. The resident thus gains valuable experience by following the clinical progress of primary care patients, as well as those with conditions not commonly seen or recognized in the clinic of a dental school. This increases the graduate’s understanding of dental treatment planning, as well as the management of medical emergencies.

Undergraduate dental education generally can provide only a rudimentary understanding of the interrelationships between treatment planning for optimal oral health and general health, including management of medical emergencies. At Mercy Hospital, emphasis in education in its GPR is on learning to employ concepts of prevention and management of overall health in addition to enhancing residents’ skills in mechanical dental procedures. It is also a goal to understand the admission, treatment and rehabilitation of the admitted hospital patient to better understand the role of dental care in overall treatment of patients.

The Dental Residency Program offers advanced comprehensive clinical experience, skills in four-handed dental practice, oral and systemic relations in health and disease, experience in office management, use of dental auxiliaries, behavioral aspects of patient management, and an understanding of hospital organization for inpatient and outpatient care. A full complement of competent dentists, representing both general practice and the many dental specialties, participates in the teaching program. Significant educational support is provided for the curriculum by the Departments of Medical Education, Internal Medicine, Radiology, Anesthesia and Pharmacy.

Residents accepted into the General Practice Dental Residency Program will be expected to:

  • Participate in a program that will ultimately lead to the general practice of dentistry, providing experience as a “first-contact” dentist who can provide primary care, appropriately recognize needs for referral to specialists and see to these necessary referrals, but assume responsibility for ongoing comprehensive care management.
  • Participate in a supervised clinical experience in the recognition and management of oral diseases. The resident learns to recognize the oral manifestations of many disorders that are primarily of other systems.
  • Participate in the correlation of basic biomedical sciences to clinical practice by taking the opportunity to study and utilize the structured medical record of the patient before, during, and following dental treatment.
  • Become familiar with hospital procedures and the full spectrum and responsibilities of other services participating in total patient care in both the ambulatory and inpatient areas. The value of close liaison between the medical and dental professions is emphasized throughout the year.

Providing the Knowledge and Skills

The residency program includes:

  • Lectures, demonstrations, and direct experiences in hospital protocol and practice, physical diagnosis, pain control, and emergency care.
  • The two-week formal rotation in anesthesia is provided with additional emphasis on use of inhalation and intravenous sedations for ambulatory patients.
  • Lectures, seminars, conferences, assigned case presentations, and audiovisual presentations constitute the didactic portions of the program.
  • Instruction in Basic Life Support is provided.
  • Rotations of one week in emergency medicine, internal medicine and radiology are included.
  • 30 hours per week of structured clinic time is provided in the dental ambulatory care facility.
  • Night call for emergency dental problems includes emergency room experience and responsibilities, together with emergency oral surgery.

All residents are trained in the problem-oriented medical record. Residents are evaluated at three-to-four month intervals and are provided a progress report by the program director.

The dental faculty consists of a program director, associate director, core faculty and adjunct faculty including community-based practitioners of oral surgery, oral pathology, endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and pediatric dentistry.

The dental department within the hospital’s ambulatory care center is designed for excellent patient care and resident education. It is furnished with an attractive patient reception area, 11 regular operatories for dentists and hygienists, a larger operatory designed and equipped for care of special patients and more extensive surgical procedures, computer-equipped resident offices and its own conference room.

The clinic is part of EPIC, the Cleveland Clinic EMR system. Inpatient charts will be available to review and enter information.

Knowledge and skills are provided in:

  •  CBCT 3-D imaging and digital treatment planning.
  •  Digital Radiography.
  •  3-D scanning and printing.
  • Comprehensive clinical care—including full-mouth rehab, esthetic procedures and special care dentistry in the Surgical Center.
  • Management of dental trauma.
  • Oral and systemic relations in health and disease.
  • Implantology and restoration.
  • Office management.
  • Use of dental auxiliaries.
  • Behavioral aspects of patient management.
  • Hospital organization.
Clinical Rotations

Clinical Rotations

Services Resident
Anesthesia 2 weeks
Emergency 2 days
Internal Medicine

2 week

Physical Assessment Heart & Lungs Orientation didactic instruction begins during orientation week and instruction is ongoing during the year.
Radiology  2 days
Dental General Practice Unit  44 weeks

Oral Surgery and Emergency Room experiences are integrated and a part of the total year's experience. Oral surgery and general dentistry utilizing general anesthesia in surgery is a part of the clinical experience offered.

Anesthesia Rotation

Knowledge and skills are provided in:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Preoperative assessment and preparation.
  • Assessment of fluid, electrolyte, and metabolic disturbances.
  • Principles of respiratory physiology.
  • Patient assessment for surgical, anesthesia, and analgesic risk factors.
  • Basic techniques for psychosedation.

Emergency Rotation

Residents are familiarized with all Emergency Room services, trauma and triage protocol; topics and discussion are at the discretion of the Emergency Room director.

Internal Medicine Rotation

Residents will be taught to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in interviewing skills, with emphasis on eliciting the patient’s history of illness.
  • Understand the flow and sequence of general screening physical examination by active participation, with particular emphasis on examination of the heart and lungs.
  • Understand the importance of physical examination.
  • Evaluate pertinent clinical diagnostic information.
  • Communicate effectively with anxious patients or those experiencing stress or crisis.
  • Interpret routine diagnostic test results.
  • Understand the pharmacological action and interactions of the drugs commonly used in dental practice.
  • Prescribe appropriate antibiotic regimens.
  • Express team participation.

Radiology Rotation

Knowledge and skills are provided in:

  • Selection of appropriate radiological procedure for various diagnostic needs.
  • Head, face, and neck X-rays as dental diagnostic tools.
  • Review of abnormal head and neck radiographic anatomy.
  • Oral surgery experience.
    • Knowledge and skills are provided in:
    • Emergency treatment of maxillofacial trauma.
    • Diagnosis and treatment of facial fractures and lacerations.
    • Basic surgical procedures.
    • Problems of oral surgery management and referral.


Application for Mercy Hospital's Dental Residency Program:



For questions or more information about the Dental Residency Program, please contact:

Dr. Andrew Wojtkowski

Dr. Andrew Wojtkowski
Program Director

Dr. Zachary Christoff

Dr. Zachary Christoff
Associate Director