CAGS in Geriatric Dental Medicine

The purpose of the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Geriatric Dental Medicine (GDM) is to train students in the treatment of geriatric patients and adult patients with special needs. The CAGS in GDM will utilize a combination of classroom education, clinical teaching, and clinical education. This 12-month program offers experiences with diverse patient populations in a variety of settings including a long-term care facility, nursing homes, a home care program in the greater Boston area, and a conventional dental clinic. It is designed for qualified dentists who have completed an accredited Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD), General Practice Residency (GPR) program, or have at least two years of clinical experience after graduation from dental school. Students will practice on an interprofessional team, interacting with dental specialists and other clinicians from across a variety of health care disciplines.


The certificate program of study includes didactic, educational, and comprehensive patient care experiences preparing students to effectively treat adult and geriatric patients living with complex medical conditions and/or special needs.

First Semester

  • SDM OS 761 Medical Concerns of the Dental Patient
  • SDM PH 763 Bioethics and Law
  • SDM PH 780 Geriatrics and Gerontology Seminar
  • SDM PR 813 Literature Review in General Dentistry

Second Semester

  • SDM GD 918 Student Teaching
  • SDM PR 780 Medically Compromised Adults and Older Adults in a Clinical Setting: The Geriatric Dental Medicine Patient and Adults Living Longer with Special Needs
  • SDM PR 810 Case Presentation and Treatment Planning Seminar

Completion is not tracked by credit accumulation but by successful completion of individual courses and duration requirements.


Graduates will be proficient in all aspects of oral health care for the older adult patient and adults living with special needs. This includes, but is not limited to, the assessment of the patient and delivery of comprehensive multidisciplinary oral health care; clear communication of treatment plans to patients, families, and caregivers; the replacement of teeth using fixed and removable appliances; periodontal therapy; endodontic therapy; treatment of medical and dental emergencies; medical risk management; the application of ethical reasoning, decisionmaking, and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care, and practice management; and effectively teaching dental students in several oral health subjects. The students will also gain an understanding of end of life care that includes palliative care, hospice care, and the ethical decision of when it is best to treat or not to treat the issues presented.