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Once you have graduated from dental school and you have successfully passed the licensure exam, you are already ready to start your dental career. You can either open your own dental clinic or join a private practice and provide primary dental care or offer general dentistry services to your patients like restorative care, fillings, cosmetic procedures, root canals, and gum disease treatments.
But not all new dentists are interested in dental residency or in practicing general dentistry. Some of you may want to specialize in specific fields like orthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, and prosthodontics. Depending on which state you intend to practice, you may or may not be required to take and complete a dental residency.
Post-graduate residency is not only intended for those who specialize in specific fields. Even those who want to work as a general dentist can also take a post-graduate residency program such as Advanced Education in General Dentistry or AEGD and General Practice Residency or GPR.
Although not all new dentists are required to take it, many still consider completing a post-graduate program in general dentistry for added experience, expertise, and knowledge.
Similarities and differences between Advanced Education in General Dentistry and General Practice Residency
Both the advanced education in general dentistry and general practice residency programs can be either hospital or dental school-based. Moreover, both these two post-graduate training programs in general dentistry also give focus and emphasis in improving the knowledge, experience, and skills of new dentists in general dentistry.
Although they seemed to be totally similar, there is one specific thing that makes GPR and AEGD distinct from each other. In GPR programs, you will be focusing more on providing dental care and treatments to a variety of hospitalized patients. For instance, you may need to treat the tooth infection of a hospitalized patient as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.
In most cases, taking a general practice residency program gives you the opportunity to gain experiences in advanced dental practice in fields like restorative dentistry, oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and endodontics. You may likewise complete rotations in inpatient dental care, oral surgery, and oral pathology.
Some post-graduate general practice residency programs may also require you to be on call a couple of days a week or a month. Being on call does not only help you broaden your experience but also help you develop both your judgment and skills in handling various kinds of dental emergencies. It also gives you added hospital privileges once you decide to get into private practice.
The AEGD training program generally includes clinical experience, lectures, and seminars. Just like the GPR program, AEGD program also allows you to experience advanced training and to develop your skills in general dentistry. You will also complete rotations in different dental specialties.