Advanced Specialty Education Program in Endodontics

Dr. Niemi (right) discusses findings from a CBCT acquisition prior to surgery with Dr. Lloyd.

The Advanced Specialty Education Program in Endodontics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center provides instruction in advanced techniques to post-graduate students who wish to be eligible for state licensure with a limited license in endodontics. Students in the program, located in the downtown medical center in Memphis in the Winfield C. Dunn College of Dentistry, provide patient care to a diverse population from both internal and external referring providers with an emphasis for preparing post-graduate students for clinical practice. Communication in coordinating interdisciplinary treatment planning, management of the medically complex patient, interpreting objective data and special testing and reporting findings to the referring office are all hallmarks of contemporary endodontic practice that the program aims to simulate. In-depth instruction is provided in a state-of-the art clinic following an intensive eight-week preclinical course in non-surgical endodontics, retreatment, instrument retrieval, perforation repair and adjunct procedures that encompass endodontic practice. Surgical endodontics is performed as a PGY2 as cases are available.

To complete the Certificate Program, residents must demonstrate proficiency in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of pathologies of the dental pulp and the related periodontal tissues. The program complies with standards established by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and qualifies residents for examination by the American Board of Endodontics. Continuous full-time attendance is a requisite for the 24 month course of instruction.

The Certificate Program concludes (a minimum of) two years from date of entry which is generally the Monday prior to July 4th.

Technology & Clinic

Treatment performed by Dr. Joseph McFarland.

Each post-graduate student is provided a dedicated operatory equipped with an ASI cart with integrated electric motors, ultrasonics, irrigation systems, Stropkos, curing lights, System B, Obtura gun and workstations running TDO electronic office software. Kodak 6100 sensors are provided for intraoral radiography at every workstation. A Kodak 9000 CBCT is available and dedicated to the Department of Endodontics. JedMed surgical stools provide ergonomic support while visualization is performed through a Zeiss Pico dental operating microscope with Varioskop lens (PGY1) or a ProErgo (PGY2). Documentation and intraoral photography and videography is 1080P from all microscopes to a MediCAP USB system connected directly the post-graduate student conference room projection system. A dedicated intraoral digital SLR is available for shared use.

gentlewaveUTHSC is committed to the most contemporary root canal treatment techniques. Postgraduate students will have the opportunity to treat patients using the GentleWave ystem developed by Sonendo to deliver multiple wavelengths of sound energy along with continuous irrigation. This system enables shear forces to cleave biofilm from canals walls and ensure secondary anatomy is addressed.

Contemporaneous data collection of all subjective and objective findings occurs within the electronic health record system (TDO). Emphasis on excellence in digital radiography, interpretation of CBCT, intra-oral photography and microscope documentation enables record-keeping suitable for presentation and for case portfolios as required by the American Board of Endodontics. Proper utilization of the TDO workflow system and storage of digital data is paramount to the success of the post-graduate student whilst enrolled in the program.

Patient Clinic Coordinators are provided to ensure treatment times are maximized for clinical experience. Typical 24 month clinic requirements (approx. 200 non-surgical cases) are exceeded upon graduation.


All post-graduate students are involved in an original, independent research project that displays a high level of scholarly intrigue and contributes to the existing foundation of professional knowledge. Research requirements include presentation at a national meeting. Admission to candidacy for a May graduation in the College of Graduate Health Sciences with Masters of Dental Science (MDS) is not feasible within the 24 month program. The project-based MDS usually requires a minimum of an additional semester for completion, during which time the post-graduate student is enrolled in 1 credit hour and is allowed to complete the data analysis and manuscript editing off campus.

Program Expenses

Tuition for both in-state and out-of-state post-graduate students is waived by the Board of Trustees of the University as endodontic post-graduate students are enrolled in the College of Graduate Health Sciences (CGHS). Enrollment in CGHS permits eligibility for Federal Student Aid.

The post-graduate clinical facility and conference room were built with the express purpose to attract outstanding applicants without the burden of purchasing capital expense items. As such, post-graduate students are assessed an annual clinic utilization fee of $12,750.00 ($6,375 due each of four semesters) which enables applicants to practice with state-of-the-art equipment and technology and allow continuous updating and maintenance of the clinic facility. Total yearly direct expenses related to the program are estimated at $22,000. This cost does not include any housing and cost-of-living expenses. No stipend is offered.

In addition to the program costs, post-graduate students are required to purchase 5 sets of scrubs (tops and pants) and a new Apple Macintosh laptop, purchased no more than 2 months prior to the start of the program. Student membership in the American Association of Endodontists is a mandatory requirement.

Post-graduate students are provided with all disposables and a complete set of hand and rotary instruments in order to perform contemporary endodontic treatment. The cost of variations from the initially provided instrument sets are borne personally by post-graduate students and will require approval as they progress through the program.

Attendance at national meetings (APICES, AAE annual session, College of Diplomates BRC) is mandatory. Expense for these activities are not reimbursed by the University, e.g. payment of meeting registrations, travel and lodging are the responsibility of the post-graduate student.

The table below outlines the maintenance fee (tuition plus other fees) for FY2016-18. Amounts shown for instruments, supplies, and textbooks are estimates only and are subject to change without notice.

Expense Description PGY1 PGY2
Clinic Utilization Fee (CECU) $12,750.00 $12,750.00
Professional meetings (e.g. AAE, Apices) $500.00 $3,750.00
Books & Supplies $1,000.00 $1,000.00
Laptop $1,700.00 $0.00
Scrubs $229.86 $0.00
Parking (if not living in dorm) $198.00 $198.00
SGA Fee $60.00 $60.00
Disability Insurance $1,400.00 $1,400.00
Hepatitis immunization $253.00 $0.00
Campus Technology Fee (CTEC) $480.00 $480.00
Other Dedicated Fees (CODF) $100.00 $100.00
Program & Service Fee—Health (CHHS) $400.00 $400.00
Program & Service Fee (CPSF) $800.00 $800.00
Student Health Insurance (CSHI)* $2,420.00 $2,420.00

*An affordable health insurance plan is available through the University. If the post-graduate student elects a different health insurance plan, proof of comparable coverage must be provided.

The University Student Financial Aid Department is committed to removing the financial barriers to education for students with limited resources. Several forms of financial aid assistance for students may be secured through University and other sources. Information is available by contacting the UTHSC Financial Aid Office.

Dunn building

Contact Us

Department of Endodontics
875 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-1731
Fax: 901-448-1799

Follow Us

instagram    flickr

Program Director

Dr. Adam Lloyd