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Dental Residency

The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana offers a year-long General Practice Residency Program accepting four residents from July 1st of each year and ending the last working day of June the following year. The residency has been continuously active since 1963 and is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. As part of the nation’s largest health care provider, we are proud to provide exceptional dental care to our nation’s Veterans.

The residency program strives to provide residents who are desirous of furthering their academic and clinical experience in dentistry with additional formal study and chairside practice that will prepare the candidate for the demands of the practice of general dentistry. The VA does not provide clinical experience in pediatrics or orthodontics.  The program provides flexibility encouraging residents to pursue personal goals as well as program goals. 

Advantages of VA General Practice Residency

  • Acquire postgraduate dentistry training in both inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Receive mentoring by highly skilled dentists in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Gain professional clinical experience treating challenging cases in a diverse veteran patient population
  • Obtain postdoctoral continuing education credit from conferences, web-based training and other resources
  • Ability to obtain hospital privileges after residency

Program Training Objectives

The General Practice Residency is designed to provide clinical, didactic and hospital experience at the postdoctoral level. It prepares residents to manage total oral health by providing instructions and experience in the delivery of care to a wide range of ambulatory and hospitalized patients. The overall goals of the program are:

  • Provide advanced education and experience in all phases of dentistry (with the exception of clinical experience in orthodontics and pediatric dentistry), with emphasis on the medically compromised patient
  • Provide further experience and enhance the understanding of the relationship of oral disease to systemic health, and of the relationship of medical disorders to oral disease and dental treatment
  • Provide formal instruction and clinical experience in physical diagnosis and medical risk assessment
  • Develop the ability to function in the hospital setting as a member of the health care team by interaction with other health care professionals to facilitate the patient’s total health care
  • Provide experience in the treatment of dental and systemic emergencies
  • Reinforce the need for continuing dental and medical education, and ongoing contact with other professionals
  • Appreciate the importance of providing dental resources to the community (i.e. community service) 

Clinical Rotations

  • Comprehensive care clinic
    • Diagnose and treatment plan routine and complex restorative cases
    • Diagnose and treatment plan medical clearances for radiation oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and other services as needed
    • Complete restorative procedures on patients with complex medical and dental needs
      • Treatment includes crown and bridge, single and multi-unit fixed implant restorations, implant assisted and supported RPD and complete removable prostheses, direct restorations, periodontal procedures including crown lengthening and socket preservation, scaling and root planning, endodontic treatment, implant placement
    • The majority of the program is spent in the comprehensive care clinic 
  • ENT
    • Recognize common diseases of the head and neck and their management
    • Become familiar with treatment modalities utilized in managing head and neck cancer
    • Gain an understanding of clinical anatomy as it applies to head and neck disease
    • Duration: 1 week 
  • Anesthesia
    • Gain an understanding about the organization and function of the anesthesiology service
    • Receive training and experience in the pre-op assessment, intra-op monitoring and post-op recovery of patients receiving general anesthesia
    • Gain experience in evaluating and recording pre-op history and physical
    • Receive experience with venipuncture and intubation
    • Receive training and experience in the use and pharmacology of various anesthetic agents
    • Duration: 4 weeks and 1 week of Pre-anesthesia testing   
  • Radiation Oncology
    • Become familiar with the protocol for pre-radiation patients with oral and head and neck cancer
    • Become familiar with radiation doses received by patients with oral and head and neck cancer
    • Describe oral complications seen in post radiation patients and common treatment recommendations for these conditions
    • Identify the role of the dentist and various health care professionals involved in the diagnosis and management of patients with oral and head and neck cancer
    • Duration: 1 week 
  • Oral Surgery
    • Gain experience in the techniques of advanced exodontia
    • Gain experience in biopsy techniques
    • Gain experience in management of patients admitted for surgery including history and physical examinations and prescription and administration of medication for control of pain and infection
    • Gain experience with methods of handling tissue to minimize trauma
    • Gain experience in the initiation, development and completion of the inpatient chart
    • Duration: 1 month 
  • Emergency room
    • Develop an understanding for medical decision making
    • Develop an understanding of the components of general medical documentation of the history and physical
    • Develop an understanding for the indications and interpretations of laboratory studies and other techniques used in the diagnosis of systemic diseases.
    • Develop an understanding of the function of the ED and decision-making process involved in admitting patients
    • Receive experience in evaluating and managing patients with dentoalveolar complaints.
    • Duration: 1 week
    • Operating Room Dentistry 
      • Indiana University School of Dentistry Hospital Dentistry rotation: twice weekly for 3 months
      • Complete comprehensive dentistry on special needs patients
      • Gain an understanding of and complete the necessary pre- and post-operative assessments
      • Admit and discharge a patient from Same Day Surgery by completing the necessary admission, operative and discharge documents
      • Perform oral surgery utilizing the operating room with VA Oral Surgery
  • Didactic curriculum
    • Resident orientation
    • Interdisciplinary conferences
    • Oral surgery lecture series
    • Advanced clinical pharmacology lecture series
    • Light parenteral conscious sedation course
    • Resident treatment planning conferences
    • Journal club - literature review
    • Endodontic lecture series
    • Multidisciplinary treatment planning conferences
    • Pediatric lecture series
    • Dental ethics seminar
    • VAMC oral pathology lecture series
    • VAMC dental webinar series
    • Indiana Dental Association AIR Leadership Program 
    • Certificates
      • BLS/ACLS
      • GPR program certificate on completion of program requirements

Dental Clinic

  • 13 well-equipped dental operatories with modern ADEC dental delivery systems
  • CBCT
  • Endodontic equipment: rotary instrumentation, modern obturation systems, and microscope
  • Chairside expanded function dental assistants facilitate the practice of four-handed dentistry
  • Work closely with endodontic and periodontal residencies who share the clinic to better understand specialty treatment and referral communication
  • Work one: one with VA staff oral surgeon
  • In-house lab technician
  • Access to CEREC Primescan and Primemill for immediate crowns and bridges

Application Process

Application requirements:

  • Completed PASS application prior to deadline of year preceding requested appointment
    • Professional Evaluation Forms in your PASS application should be from different disciplines of dentistry (i.e. restorative - this includes operative, removable, implant dentistry and crown & bridge and/or endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) Score
  • Graduate of a dental school (DDS or DMD) accredited by the American Dental Association prior to program start date
  • Eligible for a U.S. dental license at the time of entry into the residency program
  • Must be a U.S. citizen (non-U.S. citizens will be considered if there are no qualified U.S. citizens)
  • English proficiency


  • Selected applicants will be invited to interview in early October
  • Our General Practice Residency program does NOT participate in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program administered by National Matching Services 

Requirements for appointment:

  • Graduate of a dental school (DDS or DMD) accredited by the American Dental Association
  • Must have passed Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE)
  • Must qualify for an Indiana dental license
  • Must be a U.S. citizen (non-U.S. citizens will be considered if there are no qualified U.S. citizens)
  • English proficiency

Department of Veterans Affairs is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable employment discrimination laws, including those that prohibit discrimination own basis of age, race, color, national origin, sex, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation and/or any other basis protected by Federal Fair Employment practice laws.

Program Staff


  • Chief, Dental: Dr. Leslie Brooks
    • GPR Program Director: Dr. Andrew Bartels
    • Interim Assistant GPR Program Director: Dr. Logan Morris
    • Staff Oral Surgeon: Dr. Jeffrey Bennett
    • Periodontal Program Director: Dr. Clark Barco
    • Endodontic consultant: Dr. Kenneth Spolnik
    • Endodontic consultant: Dr. Ned Warner
    • Prosthodontic consultant: Dr. Kellie Schaub
    • Indiana University Hospital OR Dentistry: Dr. Pamela Linder


  • Chief, ENT: Dr. Chad Galer
    • Chief, Radiation Oncology: Dr. Ronald Shapiro
    • Chief, Department of Anesthesiology: Dr. Gene Harker
    • Department of Anesthesia, Pre-Anesthesia Testing: Jeanine Hoots, NP
    • Emergency Medicine Eskenazi Hospital: Dr. Aloysius (Butch) Humbert

The clinic is also staffed by consulting general dentists who bring different skillsets and perspectives from their private practice experience.


Q:  Do residents place implants? 

A:  Yes, though it is not a requirement. If you choose to place implants, you will work with the VA Oral Surgeon or the Periodontal Chief Resident.

Q:  Do residents do their own scheduling of patients? 

A:  No. The clinic has scheduling personnel who will work with you to create your schedule.  

Q:  Do residents work with a dental assistant? 

A:  Residents work with either a certified dental assistant or an expanded functions dental assistant.  It is rare that a resident works without an assistant.

Q:  How much lab work do residents do?

A:  Most lab work is completed by our in-house lab technician or our contracting private dental labs.  The resident works closely with both labs.

Q:  Are residents allowed to moonlight? 

A:  If a resident desires to engage in moonlighting, the following guidelines must be followed.  Moonlighting must never interfere with regular resident responsibilities.  Moonlighting residents are expected to be present (and appropriately rested) In their educational setting during all prescribed hours. Moonlighting must never occur without advanced written permission of a resident’s program director.

Q:  How often do residents take call? 

A:  Residents take VA Emergency call once every 8 weeks. 

Q:  What is your patient demographic like?

A:  Our patients are US veterans, many who are medically compromised.  The majority are men.  The age range spans from 20 to 85+.

Q:  What are your clinic hours?

A:  Official clinic hours are Monday-Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm.  Residents may be required to remain outside of clinic hours if needed.  Resident hours vary when completing off-site rotations.

Q:  Do patient finances create a limitation to the treatment residents can perform? 

A:  VA patients receive dental treatment at no cost to them.  Treatment plans are based on patient need and eligibility.

Q:  Will residents be certified in IV Sedation?

A:  The program offers Indiana University School of Dentistry ‘s course Light Parenteral Conscious Sedation (course C951).  The program does not grant certificates for IV Sedation.

Hospital Information

Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center
1481 West 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

About Indianapolis

Indianapolis is the twelfth largest city in the United States, and is one of our country's most livable big cities. Indianapolis boasts a rich cultural heritage and growing metropolis, while providing small Midwestern comfort. Indianapolis is praised for its pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the downtown area. Areas of interest include strolling along Canal Walk or biking on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

Indianapolis is known as the racing capital of the world. Each year the city hosts the Indy 500, one of the largest races in the world  in addition to NASCAR and MotoGP races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis is home to a myriad of professional sports teams including the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Indianapolis Indians, Butler Bulldogs Basketball at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indy Fuel, Indiana Ice, and Indy Eleven.

Indianapolis is also a hub of culture. Just make a stop along Monument Circle and choose the attraction of your choice in the metro area including Massachusetts Avenue or Broad Ripple Avenue. We invite you to come experience Indianapolis and its Hoosier hospitality, which will ultimately make this city your choice for residency.

Popular Attractions 

  • Atomic Duck-Pin Bowling
  • Broad RippleCastleton Mall
  • Circle Center Mall
  • Children's Museum
  • Downtown Carmel & Zionsville
  • Garfield Park
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse
  • Holcomb Gardens at Butler University
  • Holiday Park
  • Indiana State Museum
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA)
  • Indianapolis Zoo
  • Indy Cultural Trail and Canal Walk
  • Fashion Mall at Keystone
  • Fountain Square
  • Massachusetts Ave (Mass Ave)
  • Monon Trail
  • White River State Park


Popular Places to Eat or Drink

  • Bakersfield ($$)
  • Bazbeaux Pizza ($$)
  • Black Market ($$$)
  • Bluebeard ($$$)
  • Café Patachou ($)
  • California Pizza Kitchen ($$)
  • Chatham Tap ($)
  • The Livery ($$)
  • Bru Burger ($)
  • The Garden Table ($$)
  • Mama Carolla's Italian ($$)
  • Mesh on Mass ($$$)
  • Pure Eatery ($)
  • Shapiro's Delicatessen ($)
  • Siam Square ($$)
  • Sun King Brewery ($)
  • Traders Point Creamery ($$)

For a list of upcoming events including festivals and concerts, go to Visit Indy** to learn more!

** This link is for informative purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not warrant or guarantee the products, services, or information provided on external web sites.


Dr. Andrew Bartels
GPR Program Director

Dr. Logan Morris
Interim Assistant GPR Program Director

Valorie Taylor, EFDA
GPR Program Scheduler