During your clinical training you will spend five quarters with each member of the prosthodontic teaching staff. You will work closely with these consultants to manage the care of both inpatients and outpatients.

Patients will be assigned to you according to the complexity of their problem and your knowledge and technical skills. You will have increasing responsibility for patient care during each year of the program.

Clinical Training
The following is a typical rotation schedule for a prosthodontics resident:

First Year Length
Complete denture prosthodontics 13 weeks
Dental laboratory procedures 13 weeks
Oncology 7 weeks
Oral medicine and orofacial pain 6 weeks
Otorhinolaryngology 13 weeks
Second Year Length
Removable partial denture prosthodontics 26 weeks
Complete denture prosthodontics 26 weeks
Third Year Length
Fixed partial dentures 36 weeks
Implant prosthodontics 16 weeks
Fourth Year Length
Maxillofacial prosthodontics 52 weeks

Rotation Descriptions

Complete Denture Prosthodontics
The rotation in complete denture prosthodontics teaches you how to evaluate, diagnose and treat a wide range of prosthodontic concerns. Special emphasis is placed on mandibular movement and maxillomandibular relationships. Areas of focus include:

  • Articulators
  • Centric relation
  • Face-bow usage
  • Impressions
  • Insertion and post-insertion care
  • Jaw relationship records
  • Mandibular movements
  • Relines and rebases
  • Rest position
  • Selection and arrangement of teeth
  • Single dentures, immediate dentures and overdentures
  • TMJ anatomy and physiology
  • Vertical dimension

Dental Laboratory Procedures
During this rotation, you will gain experience in fabrication techniques for complete dentures, removable partial dentures, fixed partial dentures, implant prostheses and maxillofacial prostheses. Emphasis is placed on handling materials and the development of techniques that ensure repeatable and predictable results.

In this rotation, you will gain an understanding of the diagnosis and treatment modalities used in treating malignant disease. Emphasis is placed on the surgical resection of tumors and the treatment of malignancies with therapeutic radiation.

You will observe the effects of chemotherapy on patients in active care and on patients who have completed treatment. You also will follow patients who are being evaluated for the first time. Through this patient contact, you will gain a better understanding of the effects of chemotherapeutic agents on soft and hard tissues.

Oral Pathology and Orofacial Pain
During this rotation, you will study the clinical and histologic presentation of head and neck pathology. Lectures and seminars are presented in oral pathology, oral diagnosis and surgical pathology, along with clinical experiences.

This rotation will improve your understanding of the types of patients seen by otorhinolaryngologists. You will be assigned to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon who is primarily involved in surgical treatment for malignant diseases. You will observe the surgeon's clinical practice and participate in surgical procedures.

Removable Partial Denture Prosthodontics
The removable partial denture prosthodontics rotation will give you an opportunity to review treatment planning and clinical and radiographic examination. In addition, you will study:

  • Abutment tooth modification
  • Components of removable partial dentures
  • Insertion and maintenance
  • Mouth preparation treatment planning for intra- and extra-coronal retainers
  • Partial denture classification
  • Partial denture support
  • Principles of design and philosophies of stress distribution
  • Surveying

Fixed Partial Dentures
During the fixed partial dentures rotation, you will cover topics such as:

  • Tooth preparation
  • Margin design
  • Diagnosis and fixed partial denture design
  • Interim coverage
  • Gingival response to margin placement
  • Retraction methods
  • Pontics and connectors
  • Occlusal concepts
  • Articulator and face-bow theory
  • Impressions and maxillomandibular relationship records
  • Color and esthetics
  • Insertion and post-insertion care

Implant Prosthodontics
In this rotation special emphasis is placed on the historical development of implants and the scientific basis for current implant designs and materials. You will receive an overview of dental implants and the principles and practices of implant prosthodontics. You will receive extensive clinical experience in all phases of implant prosthodontic procedures.

Maxillofacial Prosthodontics
During this rotation, you will become familiar with all phases of the diagnosis and treatment of intraoral and extraoral maxillofacial prosthetics. You will gain clinical experience in:

  • Clinical examination techniques
  • Examination and treatment planning for extraoral prostheses
  • Maxillary and mandibular design and fabrication
  • Prosthodontic management of irradiated patients
  • Reconstruction of mandibular defects
  • Treatment planning for acquired defects

You also will study:

  • Coloring
  • Congenital defects
  • Cranial and extraoral implants
  • Diagnostic media in maxillofacial prosthetics
  • Extraoral prosthesis history
  • Facial materials and adhesives
  • Facial patterns and molds
  • Maxillofacial anatomy and physiology
  • Palatal life
  • Splints and stents

Didactic Training
Your didactic training will stress prosthesis maintenance and follow-up care. You will become proficient in all aspects of the laboratory technology needed for fabricating fixed, removable, implant and maxillofacial prostheses. You also will receive instruction in dental materials, the basic sciences and current literature in prosthodontics.

You will attend a series of weekly seminars on all aspects of prosthodontics during 12 quarters of your residency. You will learn about examination, diagnosis, treatment planning and occlusion from many perspectives.

  • Fixed Prosthodontic Seminars, which include discussions about:

    • Cementing fixed restorations

    • Developing occlusal schemes

    • Fabricating provisional restoration

    • Managing gingival tissues

    • Performing impression procedures

    • Preparing teeth for partial or complete veneer retainers

    • Selecting shades

  • Removable Prosthodontic Seminars, which focus on all aspects of complete dentures and removable partial dentures, such as:

    • Developing occlusal schemes

    • Framework design

    • Impression techniques

    • Intracoronal and extracoronal retainers

    • Jaw relationship records

    • Surveying

  • Maxillofacial Prosthetic Seminars, which emphasize prostheses for congenital and acquired maxillofacial defects, including:

    • Management of patients undergoing surgical resection of the maxilla and mandible

    • Care of patients with facial defects

    • Diagnosis, treatment planning, and management of patients who need various types of implant prostheses

Implant Prosthodontic Seminars, which provide a background in current and historical implant procedures. Materials and designs will be discussed to help guide you in making informed decisions about implant selection in your future practice. You also will review scientific studies and data collection procedures, and will cover the following topics in didactic and clinical experiences:

  • Osseointegration and biointegration

  • Root form implants (including threaded screws, cylinders and hydroxyapatite-coated implants)

  • Subperiosteal, endosseous, transosseous, hydroxyapatite and mandibular replacement implants

Research Training
You will be encouraged to pursue a Master of Biomedical Sciences degree during Mayo Clinic's Prosthodontics Residency Program. If you are selected as a degree candidate, you will design and complete an original research project.

You will have the equivalent of two quarters of research time to complete your project and prepare a written thesis. This research time takes place in years two through four, and does not replace a rotation.

If you do not choose to pursue the master's degree, you still will have the opportunity to participate in research. You will be assigned papers, clinical projects or literature assignments at the discretion of the faculty.

Case Studies
Throughout this program, you will prepare patient presentations for multidisciplinary discussion throughout your residency program. In addition, you will participate in the Craniofacial Conference, in which complex dentofacial deformity patients are evaluated and their coordinated treatment is planned with specialists from plastic surgery, otolaryngology, medical genetics, speech pathology, psychology and social services.

Teaching Opportunities
You may have the opportunity to teach Mayo Clinic School of Medicine students and visiting students from other medical and dental schools through chair-side instruction and seminars.

You must successfully complete oral and/or written examinations in prosthodontics each quarter and complete a final comprehensive written examination. In addition, if you are a degree candidate, you must successfully defend your thesis in an oral examination.