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Dental General Practice Residency frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about the VA Salt Lake City health care Dental General Practice Residency.

A: 12 months

A: In addition to 3-5 general dentists available for consults and instruction, the clinic has part-time specialists in endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, oral medicine and oral surgery.

A: At times it may be appropriate for a resident to perform cleanings. The clinic has one full-time hygienist that supports the residents and staff dentists, and during the school year also has dental hygiene students providing preventive care.

A: Yes. Assistant assignments are made daily.

A: Every fourth week.

A: Residents must be present for all clinical activities from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, but must also be available on a 24-hour basis. Therefore, no employment, dental or otherwise, is allowed outside the VA facility.

A: Anesthesia and Primary Care. 

A: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification is taught at the beginning of the year, and is required for IV sedation training.

A: Official clinic hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but there are some before and after clinic hours lectures. Residents probably average 50 hours per week - including studying and projects.  At the beginning of the year, there is much more studying to get you ready for the kind of procedures done in clinic - i.e.  IV sedation, ACLS course, full mouth rehabs, etc.

A: Most lab work is done by the in-house lab. Some lab work is sent to the VA laboratory in Texas. It is recommended that residents do diagnostic wax ups of large esthetic and implant cases. The lab will pour impressions, mount cases, and section and trim dies. Residents can do more lab work if desired, but time would probably be better spent working on other projects and learning how to do new procedures/surgeries/implants - to get the greatest benefit. The quality of the in-house lab is very good. The biggest advantage of the in-house lab is that they are available to discuss the case with the practitioner in person.

A: Due to patient population, there is no treatment of pediatric patients. However, there are pediatric and orthodontic lectures on the first and second Friday mornings of the month.

A: Strengths: Periodontics, Endodontics, Prosthodontics, Implants.  Weaknesses: Pedodontics, 3rd molar extraction (limited cases due to population)

A: The dentistry is free. However, the patients must be eligible and there are different levels of eligibility. Most of our patients are eligible for comprehensive care. There is no shortage of cases.

If there are additional questions concerning this program or the application process, please call at 801-584-1206 or address correspondence to:

Michael R. Slater, D.D.S.
Director, General Practice Residency Program
Dental Service (160)
500 Foothill Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84148
email:  Michael.Slater@va.gov

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