UB, RPCI establish dental-residency program

Published May 7, 2015

UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have been granted accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation for a new general-practice dental-residency program. Students in the one-year program will rotate between the UB School of Dental Medicine and RPCI Dental Services.

The training program is designed to provide qualified graduates of dental schools with a fundamental knowledge of the multidisciplinary care of oncology patients, along with in-depth practical training in dental care for these patients. Residents will receive instruction and hands-on experience in the treatment of patients who have been recently diagnosed with head and neck cancers, as well as education in comprehensive dental treatments for patients who are either undergoing active cancer therapies or are in remission. Residents also will have the opportunity to participate in current research projects involving the early detection of oral cancer in high-risk patients.

UB faculty will oversee the residents’ academic and clinical training. Residents at Roswell Park will spend approximately 70 percent of their time in the clinical care of patients, under the supervision of academic and practicing dental clinicians specializing in oncology.

Specialized training for dental oncologists is important, as cancer patients have unique dental needs. Many cancer therapies cause side effects to oral tissues or can decrease a patient’s ability to fight infection, including dental infections.