A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics

Program Director
Erik Sahl, DDS, MSD
Erik Sahl, DDS, MSD
Associate Professor of Periodontics

For a list of other Faculty for the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics, click here

General Information

Accreditation status: "Approval" (next accreditation 2016)
Length of program: 36 months in residence
Number of applicants accepted each year: Three (3)
Applications accepted as of: January 1st each year
Application deadline:

September 1, 2016 (Rolling Admissions)

Program start date: July 1, 2017

Application Method

Loma Linda University application: An LLU online application is mandatory
PASS application: A PASS application is available, not mandatory
Match application: Not applicable

Contact Information

Program phone number: (909) 558-4610
Fax number: (909) 558-4801
Email: yjimenez@llu.edu

Operatory in the Graduate Periodontics Clinic
Operatories in the Graduate Periodontics Clinic.

Operatory in the Graduate Periodontics Clinic
Operatories in the Graduate Periodontics Clinic.

Program Description

The Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics offers a three-year program leading to the award of a specialty certificate and an optional Master of Science (MS) degree or Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree. The certificate in periodontics prepares students for a specialty practice and provides the basis for continuing professional development following completion of the program.

Specific emphasis is placed on various high-level technique procedures to include esthetic prosthetic related mucogingival surgery, root form implant placement, preparatory augmentation, and repairs. Training includes both didactic and clinical components as well as research opportunities.

The goals of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics are:

Goal 1 To train graduate students in the science of periodontics, including contributions from the literature, have an understanding of periodontal pathology, and understand the history and current rationale for performing clinical procedures in periodontics.
Goal 2 To train graduate students to be able to perform at the level of proficiency the full range of clinical procedures which are considered essential to establish a specialty practice in the field of periodontics.
Goal 3 To train graduate students to be able to design, carry out and report a periodontal research project under the guidance of and collaboration with a graduate faculty member and to encourage graduate students to become Diplomates of the American Board of Periodontology.
Goal 4 To train graduate students to be able to teach in both didactic and clinical areas of pre-doctoral periodontics at the level of a junior faculty member with the intent to enhance their ability to communicate with peers.
Goal 5 To train graduate students to be able to successfully complete the American Board of Periodontology Certification Exam.
Goal 6 To train graduate students to be able to achieve successful careers in clinical practice, research and/or dental education.

Two Master's Degree Tracks Now Available

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry offers two master's degree tracks for graduate students/residents enrolled in the advanced education certificate programs.

Master of Science (MS) degree track:

The Master of Science (MS) degree track can be invaluable to students who wish to pursue an academic career in clinical dentistry, research, and teaching. The didactic and clinical components of the certificate program fulfill the academic requirements for the MS degree. Candidates must be admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), conduct a graduate level research project, write a thesis, and hold a public thesis defense. Students have five years from the date of acceptance of the certificate program to complete the requirements for the MS degree.

Candidates who meet the admissions requirements must submit an application to FGS through the Office of Advanced Dental Education and that application must be supported by the applicant's program director.

Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree track:

Graduate students/residents may elect to apply for the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree track.  The MSD degree track is intended to provide individuals with an advanced degree widely recognized as having completed a dental specialty program.  Applicants must be recommended for admission to this degree track by their program director and subsequently approved for admission by the Assistant Dean for Advanced Education. The MSD degree is awarded upon successful completion of the certificate program, completion of an approved graduate research project, and submission of a report of that research project in the form of a publishable paper in the format of a journal selected by the candidate and approved by the program director.  Candidates must also hold a public presentation of their research in a format similar to a thesis defense.  All the MSD requirements may be complete during the program but no later than one year from the candidate’s program completion date.

Graduates of the certificate, MS degree program, and MSD degree program are educationally qualified for certification by the American Board of Periodontology.

Graduate periodontics research laboratory
Graduate periodontics research laboratory.

Graduate periodontics conference room
Graduate periodontics conference room.

Application and Admission Process

The Advanced Specialty Education Program in Periodontics has a ROLLING ADMISSIONS POLICY.  This means that the program reserves the right to fill some, but not all, of their positions on or before the application deadline.  Therefore, it is in the applicant's best interest to complete an application as soon as possible.

Loma Linda University Application - Applicants for the Periodontics Program must complete a direct Loma Linda University application.  LLU online application

Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) - The Advanced Education Program in Periodontics participates in the PASS application service of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) allowing applicants to apply to multiple participating institutions using one standardized format. PASS Application

Advisory to Applicants - To ensure prompt posting of your required supporting documents, complete your application before you request transcripts and test scores.

Invitation to interview - All complete applications that meet the minimum admissions requirements are reviewed (refer to Admissions Requirements below). The top candidates are invited for an interview by a selection committee composed of department faculty and outside faculty/administrators and chaired by the program director. The candidates are ranked in two categories: 1) nominations for admission and 2) nominations as alternates.

Admissions decisions - The program director presents the list of nominations for admission (with alternates) for discussion and approval by the graduate admissions committee. The committee meets monthly, and candidates will be notified of a decision as soon as possible.

Acceptance - Candidates offered acceptance are required to submit a nonrefundable deposit check of $1,000 to hold a place in the entering class. These funds will be applied towards tuition and fees for the first quarter of study.

Background check - Accepted students must complete a background check in order to register and begin the program.

Health Clearance Information and CPR Training for Incoming Graduate Students and Residents - All individuals accepted into an Advanced Education Program must receive a health clearance from Student Health Service before they are permitted to start their program. A health clearance includes passing a PPD (tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) test. In addition, all incoming graduate students/residents also must undergo Health Care Provider CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training and obtain certification prior to the start of their program.

How to obtain information regarding policies on blood-borne and infectious diseases:
Federal OSHA (www.osha.gov) In search menu type: Bloodborne Pathogens 1910.1030
State Cal/OSHA (www.dir.ca.gov) In search menu type: Bloodborne Pathogens Standards 5193

Admissions Requirements

The following information and documentation are required for all applications to the Periodontics Program:

1.  Transcript(s) - from all post-secondary institutions from which the applicant received credit whether or not the work pertains to their LLU degree.  Only official transcript(s) will be accepted.  An official transcript is one that is submitted directly from the school, college, or university to Loma Linda University.  Transcripts that are hand-carried or mailed by an applicant, even if in a sealed envelope, cannot be considered official and will be recorded as still missing.  Transcripts should be mailed directly to: Admissions Processing, 11139 Anderson Street, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350.

Applicants who have transcripts from non-US dental schools must submit a translated course-by-course transcript report from one of the following agencies (See International Transcript Information):

  1. World Education Services (WES) *
  2. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  3. Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc (ECE)
  4. American Education Research Corporation (AERC)

* If ordering an evaluation from WES, the applicant should select Loma Linda University from the drop-down list of recipient institutions as opposed to writing in an address. LLU does not need the additional ICAP service from WES. If their WES report is only for LLU the applicant should order the basic (non-ICAP) course-by-course report.  The electronic WES report to LLU will already include copies of the evaluated documents, however these document copies are not the Official transcripts/mark sheets that LLU requires to be sent directly from the issuing institution.

2.  Official Degree Certificate (for all international applicants) - Any foreign transcript (or mark sheet) that does not list on it the graduation information, including the actual degree earned, must be supported by an official degree certificate or school-verified copy of the degree certificate mailed directly from the issuing institution to Admissions Processing, Loma Linda University.

Applicants who are uncertain as to whether or not their transcript lists graduation information and degree earned should contact their school before requesting a separate degree certificate.

3.  GPA and Class Rank- A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Applicants should request the dean of their dental school to provide a letter with their official GPA and class rank.

4.  National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) - Successful completion of the National Board Dental Examination Part I and Part II (if available) is required for all U.S.-trained applicants.  Please allow plenty of time for NBDE score report requests to be processed by the ADA.  We cannot accept NBDE scores reported in a Dean's letter as an official report of test results.  Request NBDE scores

5.  English Proficiency Exam - Regardless of nationality or citizenship, an applicant whose native language is not English or whose secondary education has been given outside the U.S. is required to pass one of the following English proficiency tests:

  1. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.  The institution code for Loma Linda University is 4062. TOEFL minimum scores are: 80 - Internet-based test , 550 - Paper-based test, including a minimum final score of 5.0 on the TWE part (Test of Written English)
  2. IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. LLU minimum score is 6.5
  3. MELAB LLU minimum score is 77

6.  Letters of recommendation - Three letters of recommendation from individuals who have known and worked closely with the candidate are required in support of an application.  Letters of recommendation are valid for no more than two consecutive years for the same program.  Letters of recommendation also must be program specific (ie, support an applicant for the actual program to which he/she is applying).  Electronic notifications to the recommenders are sent out after submitting the online application.  Alternatively, an applicant applying to the program through PASS may use their Personal Potential Index (PPI) evaluation report, Professional Evaluation Forms (PEF), and Institutional Evaluation Form (IEF) for their LLU application as well.  Applicants who would like to use their PASS letters of recommendation should leave the recommendation section of their LLU online application blank and after submitting the application, the PPI evaluations will be matched up.

7.  Curriculum Vitae - Applicants must include their curriculum vitae sent electronically with the online application or mailed directly to the Office of Advanced Dental Education.

Important Instructions for the Transmittal of Official Documents

All official documents must be mailed from the issuing institutions. Applicants must not mail originals or official copies of transcripts, GRE scores, National Dental Board scores, and TOEFL scores themselves.

An application is not considered complete until all required supporting documents have been received. Only completed applications go to committee for consideration. This policy holds true for both U.S. and non-U.S. applicants. So please apply early.

Ms. Judi Jimenez
Administrative office staff: Ms. Judi Jimenez (Senior Administrative Secretary).

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year (effective July 1, 2015) are $15,862.00 per quarter. Tuition is adjusted annually every July 1st. These fees do not include instruments and textbooks that may be required.

Required courses for the Periodontics Program can be found in the University Catalog.


Study may extend beyond 36 months for those pursuing a Master of Science
(MS) degree or the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree.

Externship and Internship Programs in Periodontics.

Graduate dentists interested in furthering their education in the specialty of periodontics may wish to consider one of the following educational experiences outside of the traditional three-year degree program:

The externship and internship programs are designed to provide general dentist an opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of periodontics. Trainees attend didactic courses, literature seminars, and interdisciplinary treatment-planning sessions but do not treat patients.

Training typically ranges from one month to several months (externship) or as long as twelve months (internship). In the Graduate Periodontics Clinic the activity of externs and interns is limited to clinical assistance and observation for faculty, fellows, and students enrolled in the three-year degree training program.

Participants can expect to obtain training in the following areas:

* Clinical assistance and observation in basic and advanced procedures in periodontics

* Attendance in didactic core courses common to other graduate programs

* Attendance in didactic courses exclusively related to graduate periodontics

* Participation in clinical and/or laboratory research in periodontics (optional)

Cost for Externship and Internships:*

Participants register as non-degree students, and their tuition is based on the length of their externship or internship as follows:

1 month or less = 1/3 quarterly tuition

Up to 2 months = 2/3 quarterly tuition

Up to 3 months = full quarter's tuition

One year = full tuition for four quarters


THE APPLICATION BELOW IS FOR NON-DEGREE STUDENTS ONLY and is not to be used for anyone applying to the certificate program.

Application for Internship or Externship