Letter from the Program Director
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Letter from the Program Director

For over fifty years, The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, has played a crucial role in educating high-caliber dental professionals and enhancing the accessibility of oral health care services across the state. As the state’s exclusive professional dental education institution, we are proud to sponsor Oklahoma’s first Pediatric Dentistry Residency program.

Our experienced, nationally recognized pediatric dentistry faculty provide first-quality training that combines diverse patient care clinical experiences with relevant didactic instruction and mentorship. Our partnership with Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health further supports adoption of a holistic approach to care by offering opportunities for inter-professional collaboration with medical and allied health programs on our campus. This unified vision ensures residents engage in robust, forward-thinking training that will prepare them for rewarding careers as pediatric dentists.

The demand for specialized pediatric dental services in Oklahoma is significant, making the training of pediatric dentists crucial for improving the oral health of children in the state. Our residency program addresses this need by equipping residents with comprehensive skills in non-pharmacological and pharmacological behavior management, sedation dentistry, hospital dentistry, and more. In addition to use of the latest technology, residents will be trained in evidence-based clinical best practices and introduced to the latest advancements in pediatric dentistry. This includes training in areas such as restorative sciences, pulp management, behavior sciences, developing occlusion management, and emergency dentistry. They will also be afforded numerous opportunities to provide care for children with special needs and serve on healthcare teams to deliver high-quality care for medically complex patients. Additionally, our program will nurture the resident's ability to critically review the literature and develop research skills, empowering them to contribute to the advancement of the field.

Beyond world-class clinical training, we believe in fostering a sense of community and instilling a commitment to service. We encourage our residents to engage in advocacy and research experiences that foster long-term dedication to the profession and their communities on a local, national and international level. Our ultimate goal is for our graduates to be well-prepared to make a positive impact on the lives of children.

As the Program Director, I am personally dedicated to each resident's personal success and growth. I will be there to provide unwavering support and guidance throughout the program. Working together, we will shape the future of pediatric dentistry and make a lasting difference in the lives of young patients.

I invite you to consider The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry’s Pediatric Dentistry Residency graduate program. Should you have questions or need further information, please reach out. We welcome all future applicants to our program, and we look forward to embarking on this transformative journey with you.


David Ciesla, D.D.S., M.S., M.A.S.
Director, Pediatric Dentistry Residency
The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry