Caring for Kids: SLU Starts Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program
ST. LOUIS – Children with complex medical conditions and those who are just in need
of a regular teeth cleaning will soon have a new program devoted to their care.
Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education (CADE) will begin a pediatric dentistry residency program on July 1, 2017. The program,
six years in the making, received initial accreditation from the Commission on Dental
Accreditation in February.
SLU’s pediatric program is the only residency program of its kind in eastern Missouri
or southern Illinois and will serve children referred from SSM Health Cardinal Glennon
Children's Hospital, among others.
The two-year graduate program provides dentists an opportunity to study and receive
clinical experience in treating children. Residents learn advanced diagnostic and
surgical procedures, along with oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology,
child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special
needs, conscious sedation and general anesthesia.
With our new pediatric dentistry program, we can intervene early to improve a child’s
oral health, which makes a difference for the rest of their life.”
John Hatton, DMD, executive director of CADE
CADE currently offers specialty training in endodontics (root canals), orthodontics
(braces) and periodontics (treatment of gum disease and implants).
“We are really excited to get this program started – it will be tremendous for the
region,” said John Hatton, DMD, executive director of CADE. “There are so many children
in the area that have nowhere to go for their dental needs.”
Hatton said early intervention is important in dental health.
“Through CADE’s other programs, a person can have a tooth extracted instead of a root
canal, not replace a missing tooth with an implant and function without braces,” Hatton
said. “And now, with our new pediatric dentistry residency, we can intervene early
to improve a child’s oral health, which makes a difference for the rest of their life.”
SLU’s program will admit three students in its first year and another three the following
year. Applicants must have a strong academic background and clinical skills, as well
as a passion for working with children.
“Pediatric dentistry is more than just being child-friendly,” said Dan Stoeckel D.D.S.,
MS, pediatric dentistry graduate program director. “You have to enjoy working with
kids and also work within the growth and development of a child’s mouth. Children
can have extensive needs that are not the same as those of an adult patient.”
Residents admitted to the program will serve patients in a clinical setting at CADE
and, when necessary, perform dental care under general anesthesia at SSM Health Cardinal
Glennon Children’s Hospital.
“We will treat the patients of general pediatrics and the specialty clinics of SSM
Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, as well as provide a dental home for
children from birth to age 12,” Stoeckel said.
“Small steps to improve oral hygiene can have a big impact on overall health,” Stoeckel
said. “We will work with our patients to create a personalized preventative care plan
for oral health.”
SLUCare physicians at the Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s
Hospital will directly refer low-income patients to the pediatric dental clinic for
regular cleanings and checkups.
The clinic will also care for children with additional medical needs, ranging from
those with blood disorders and cancer patients, to patients who have autism and Down
“Residents will see patients with needs ranging from basic cleanings to complicated
restorative dentistry,” Stoeckel said. “They also will learn how to manage patients
that come into the clinic with a high level of anxiety.”
The residents also will provide on-call emergency dentistry coverage at Cardinal Glennon.
In February 2016, the Glennon Guild donated $50,000 to support the renovation and equipping of the pediatric dental clinic
at the Center for Advanced Dental Education. The clinic opened Nov. 30.
“I think once we have the residents on board we will be able to see 5,500 patients
a year, with 1,800 of those being unique visitors,” Stoeckel said.
Appointments are now being accepted for late summer at 314-977-PEDO (7336). All forms of Missouri and Illinois Medicaid
The Center for Advanced Dental Education’s mission is to achieve the highest level
of excellence in scholarship and patient care while educating dentists in the specialties
of orthodontics (tooth straightening), endodontics (root canal treatment), periodontics
(gum disease therapy) and pediatric dentistry. The center aims to serve its students,
the profession of dentistry, the community of St. Louis, and the communities in which
the graduates of CADE will practice their dental specialty.