Division of Periodontics

  • Profile Headshot
    Chairman, Section of Oral, Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Sciences; Director, Division of Periodontics; Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

Welcome to the Division of Periodontics, one of the oldest specialty divisions in the country. The Division educates dental students in the fundamentals and specialty of Periodontics in a setting that emphasizes sound biological principles and evidence-based approaches. Our faculty also provides contemporary, comprehensive and compassionate dental care to the members of our surrounding community and conducts cutting-edge research to advance our discipline’s professional knowledge base.


The predoctoral curriculum in periodontics is designed to give students an understanding of the fundamental principles of periodontics, knowledge of the range of procedures performed by periodontists, an appreciation of the importance of periodontal therapy in the context of comprehensive dental treatment, and the training necessary to provide patients with basic periodontal care.

The fundamental principles of periodontics are taught in an integrated fashion along with the other dental disciplines in the first and second year pre-clinical courses. These courses focus on a problem-oriented evaluation of the patient. At Columbia’s comprehensive-care predoctoral clinic, third and fourth year students provide periodontal diagnoses and basic periodontal therapy to all of their patients. Additionally, third year students participate in a 2-week rotation at the postdoctoral periodontics program, where they attend didactic seminars and clinic sessions and participate in advanced periodontal and implant-related surgical procedures. All fourth year dental students perform at least one periodontal surgery before graduation. Finally, fourth year students who complete their clinical requirements early and have a particular interest in periodontics may participate in an Honor’s program where additional time is spent with the postdoctoral periodontics curriculum.

The postdoctoral Periodontics Program prepares the licensed dentist to practice the specialty of periodontics, either in private practice or in academia. Two parallel tracks are available: a primarily clinical track that leads to a Certificate in Periodontics, and a track that includes a substantial research component that leads to a Masters of Science degree in Periodontics. Both tracks meet the educational requirements of the American Academy of Periodontology and the American Dental Association.

The Division offers one-week externships for third and fourth year dental students, as well as a postdoctoral externship for foreign trained dentists

Patient Care

Many of our faculty are practicing dentists with ColumbiaDoctors Dentistry, the faculty practice of the College of Dental Medicine.

The Division of Periodontics also provides treatment for children and adults at the College of Dental Medicine's Teaching Clinics. Graduate dentists in specialty training provide care with the assistance and supervision of faculty specialists.


The Division has several active research programs supported by multiple external sources including the National Institutes of Health, Foundations and Industry. Current projects encompass a variety of topics including the epidemiology and pathobiology of periodontitis, the microbially-driven pathogenesis of oral and non-oral diseases, the identification of undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes in the dental setting, and the evaluation of adjunctive modalities to enhance the outcomes of periodontal and peri-implant therapy.

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Associated Postdoctoral Programs