Dentistry Residency Curriculum

Our curriculum provides high-quality general dentistry and specialty service training to residents. Rotations include anesthesia and emergency medicine, as well as specialty enrichment rotations. Lectures cover topics including oral surgery, medical diagnosis, anesthesia, implant therapy, endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics and practice management. Residents also have the opportunity to attend dental conferences for further professional development. 

Dental Resident Rotations, Courses, and Enrichments:

The General Practice Residency in Dentistry at Wake Forest requires residents to complete rotations in Emergency Medicine and Anesthesia, as well as a course in Physical Exam and Diagnosis. Implant course and enrichment experiences in various areas of study are considered optional, and are offered over the course of the two year program. See below for descriptions – required rotations and courses are in italics.


  • Physical Exam and Diagnosis Course: Residents will complete a course in Physical Exam and Diagnosis through the Physician’s Assistant program at Wake Forest University. Residents will gain skills in physical exam and problem-focused assessment of patients in the hospital setting.
  • Pre-Operative Anesthesia Clinic (1 Week): Residents will gain experience in assessment of patient’s ASA status, assessment of airway, and observe pre-operative exams performed by Anesthesia.
  • Emergency Medicine Rotation (3 Weeks): Residents will observe and gain experience in medical triage, interpretation of radiographic imaging, and management of medical emergencies such as cardiopulmonary events, toxic drug overdose, allergic reaction, and trauma. Residents will also improve their skills in patient interviewing techniques and limited problem-focused assessment.
  • Hematology Oncology (1 Week): Residents will observe and gain knowledge in the management and treatment of patients with various hematologic diseases, such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, and von Willebrand disease. Residents will be able to apply their knowledge as it pertains to dental management of patients with hematologic disease.
  • Head and Neck Cancer (1 Week): Residents will observe outpatient head and neck cancer clinics and learn about the treatment and management of malignancy involving the structures of the head and neck. Residents will observe surgical resections of various malignancies of the head and neck in the operating room, and spend time observing treatment planning and delivery of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Residents will be able to apply their knowledge as it pertains to dental management of patients with active and past history of head and neck cancer.
  • Behavioral Medicine (2 Weeks): Residents will observe the assessment of pediatric patients for various developmental and intellectual problems, and gain an appreciation for the complex medical and social management of patient’s with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Residents will also have the opportunity observe occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and other professionals interact with patients through applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Residents will gain a better understanding of how common impairments, disabilities and health conditions impact oral health and oral function.


  • Anesthesia Rotation (2 Weeks): Residents will gain knowledge in preoperative evaluation, the use and effects of various pharmacologic agents for anesthesia, and patient monitoring and assessment during anesthesia and recovery. Residents will gain experience and hand skills in venipuncture technique and airway management, including mechanical mask ventilation and intubation.
  • Sedation (1 Week): Residents will gain experience in assessing patients for IV sedation based on selection criteria, observing medication management of various sedation medications, and practice in establishing IV access.
  • Rhinology (1 Week): Residents will observe outpatient clinic assessment, and medical and surgical management of various maladies of the sinuses. Residents will be exposed to and gain a better understanding of the clinical presentations of sinus disease and the links to dental health.
  • Speech and Swallowing (1 Week): Residents will observe assessment and diagnosis of various speech and swallowing problems, and learn about the many treatment modalities and coping strategies available to patients. Residents can expect to see patients with dysphagia, history of stroke or brain injury, laryngectomy patients, and other head and neck cancer patients. Residents will be able to apply their knowledge in the dental management of patients with speech and swallowing problems.
  • Geriatric Medicine (2 Weeks): Residents will observe the care and management of geriatric patients in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Residents will gain an appreciation for the complex medical and social management of geriatric patients with chronic illness.
  • Sleep Medicine (1 Week): Residents will observe the assessment and diagnosis of patients with sleep apnea and other sleep-related health problems. Residents will have the opportunity to observe sleep studies, and gain skill in interpreting study results. Residents will be able to apply their knowledge in assessing patients for oral sleep appliances.
  • Practice Management (1 Week): Residents will observe specialists in the Winston-Salem community, including Oral Surgery, Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, and Periodontics. Residents will observe different practice management philosophies in each unique practice setting, and will gain appreciation for how dental specialists function in the general dentistry practice patient’s overall management.
  • Implant Dentistry Course: Residents will be enrolled in a hands-on implant dentistry course, where they will learn implant planning considerations, management of implant dentistry complications, and will have the opportunity to place dental implants on live patients.
  • Invisalign® Course: Residents have the opportunity to participate in an online course to become certified as an Invisalign® clear aligners provider. Individuals that complete the first half of this course during residency will be able to register for the second half of the course after completion of their GPR program at no cost, in order to complete the certification in becoming an Invisalign® provider.
  • Elective Week (1 Week): Residents will design and propose an elective week of their choosing, and debrief with the program faculty and co-residents at the end of their experience. As an example, past residents have chosen to spend their elective week learning more about Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, Forensic Dentistry, Medical Management of Patients with IDD, Anesthesia, and Oral Surgery.

Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic

Dental residents participate in the multidisciplinary Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic, along with providers from Plastic Surgery, Speech & Swallowing, Audiology, ENT, and Orthodontic specialties. Residents will also have experience in treating cleft lip/cleft palate and craniofacial patients in both the operating room and outpatient clinic settings. 


Residents participate in the Joint Resident Conference (JRC), an annual meeting of the residents and faculty from the GPR programs of Virginia and the Carolinas. PGY-2 residents will give a presentation at the JRC.

Residents may elect to participate in a CE opportunity of their choosing each year. Limited travel funding is available to PGY-2 residents only.