Department of Pediatric Dentistry

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry is responsible for teaching dental students the fundamentals of oral health care for children. As a part of the educational effort, total patient care is provided to all children including children with special needs in a professional clinic environment as well as care in a hospital setting. Programs are conducted at the pre-doctoral and postdoctoral levels. The department's faculty is involved in didactic, pre-clinical, clinical, continuing education, research and extramural teaching activities.

The certificate program in Pediatric Dentistry is a two year program beginning in July of each year.  Six positions are authorized for the first year class. The program is designed to meet the requirements of the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

The curriculum is designed to encompass the theory and practice of pediatric dentistry at the postdoctoral level. This program emphasizes the application of biological, physiological and psychological principles during the periods of physical and emotional development of the child patient. An appreciation for and understanding of the role of preventive measures, community dental health programs for children, and exposure to hospital practice are also areas of emphasis.

Facility Affiliations

  • The Howard University College of Dentistry
  • The Howard University College of Medicine
  • The Howard University Hospital
  • The HSC Pediatric Center (formerly known as Hospital for Sick Children) 
  • The Children's National Medical Center
  • The Spanish Catholic Center
  • Prince George's County Health Department, Cheverly, MD

Admission Requirements- an applicant:

  • Must be a graduate of an accredited dental school; applicants possessing foreign degrees must have passes both Part I and Part II of the National Boards
  • Must have passed Part I and Part II of the National Dental Boards;
  • Must possess at least a 3.0 average in dental school;
  • Must demonstrate proficiency in the English language and mastery of concepts of procedures, which are basic to the practice of dentistry, if the applicant possesses a foreign dental degree.
  • A 2x2 photo is required, if not available through the PASS application, then it should be sent to:

    Melanie S. Thwaites, DDS
    Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
    Postdoctoral Program Director
    Department of Pediatric Dentistry
    Howard University College of Dentistry
    600 "W" Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20059
    202-806-0307 (ofc) 202-806-0478 (fax)

 To complete an online application, contact PASS (Postdoctoral Application Support Service) at  Deadline for completion of the PASS application is October 1, 2015 for the class beginning in July 2016.

Applications completed after the deadline will not be considered. The PASS application is the only application required (refer to the link below).  There are no supplementary applications.

This postdoctoral program also participates in the National Matching Service and all positions are offered through the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program. Applicants are required to register for the match. More information can be obtained by contacting:

National Matching Services, Inc.
595 Bay Street
Suite 301, Box 29
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G2C2
(416) 977-3431
(416) 977-5020 Fax

Questions should be directed to the Program Director Dr. Melanie S. Thwaites at

Department Chair
George P. Thomas, D.D.S., M.P.H.

Program Director
Melanie S. Thwaites, D.D.S.

Arnett A. Anderson, D.D.S., M.S. (Adjunct)
George P. Thomas, D.D.S., M.P.H.

Associate Professors
Stephen E. Grimm, III, D.D.S.
Melanie S. Thwaites, D.D.S.

Assistant Professors
Debra L. Jeffries, D.D.S.
Leslie M. Lawrence, D.M.D., M.S.
Ira Scott, D.D.S.
Shohreh Sharifahmadian, D.D.S
Oswald N. Thompson, D.D.S, M.S.C.D
LaToya Barham, D.D.S.