Southern Illinois University Launches Endodontics Graduate Program

Dentistry Today


The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) has launched a clinical endodontics training graduate program that has been accredited by the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

The program expands on the school’s postgraduate offerings with an advanced educational curriculum and a clinical residency regimen focused on endodontics, including a full-time patient treatment schedule, clinical and translational research opportunities, and teaching roles to further enhance the predoctoral program of instruction in endodontics.

“SIU SDM dean Dr. Bruce Rotter wanted to develop a program that would have the maximum clinic availability for the SDM’s patients and be an opportunity for postdoctoral students to shadow and gain experience,” said Marvin Leigh Speer, DDS, MS, program director and diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics.

“I’ve been in practice for 40 years, and it has always been my dream to start a program from the beginning. I am delighted to be creating an excellent program for the SIU SDM to be proud of and for students to desire to attend,” Speer said.

The SIU graduate endodontics program began in the fall of 2020 with its first cohort comprising two residents, Tara Habibi, DMD, and Priya Sapra Kullar, DMD. Both completed their DMD degrees at the SIU SDM in the summer of 2020.

“Over the last two years at the SIU SDM, I have found a family in the school. Having an opportunity to pursue further education at the SDM is a dream come true,” said Kullar.

“I feel humbled to have been accepted to the graduate endodontics program, as I have always been passionate about the specialty area,” Kullar said. “The joy of helping patients feel better by relieving their pain and saving their teeth is immensely gratifying.”

SIU SDM’s facilities are equipped with the latest technology, including endodontic microscopes, CBCT systems, ultrasonics, rotary and 3-D obturating systems, and necessary dental materials, according to the school.

“The program began on August 31, and our experience has been great,” said Habibi.

“Our help was greatly needed in the clinic for patients requiring more complicated endodontic procedures. Although this program is new, the patient base is established, and the demand is high for the procedures that we provide,” Habibi said.

Leading to a Specialty Certificate in Endodontics, the program is designed to satisfy the needs of those who wish to acquire greater skill, knowledge, and experience in endodontics, the school said.

Those who complete the course of study will fully meet the educational requirements for certification by the American Board of Endodontics and state licensing bodies for the specialty practice of endodontics, the school said.

“For students considering pursuing this program in the future, I feel it is an excellent place to excel, learn, and grow. The program lays the foundation for modern endodontics and evidence-based learning,” Kullar said.

“It has everything to offer, including an organized curriculum, assorted culture, state of the art facilities, magnificent clinical exposure, and research opportunities, all of which are imperative to be a successful professional,” she said.

The SIU SDM graduate endodontics program will accept two more residents in July 2021. Information on applying is available online.

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