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Jacksonville University to launch Florida’s first Certificate in Comprehensive Oral Implantology with M.S. in Dentistry

In response to the evolving needs of patients, Jacksonville University today announced a three-year Master of Science in Dentistry and Certificate in Comprehensive Oral Implantology, supported by the Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency Foundation (COIRF) and using the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) post-graduate core curriculum.

Named after two of its most passionate founders, clinicians, and patrons, the Alfred L. “Duke” Heller & O. Hilt Tatum Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency Program will offer dentists extensive training focused on clinical proficiency in surgery, prosthetics and maintenance related to dental implants and comprehensive oral implantology. 

The program, part of the university’s Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, also offers the ability to earn an online master’s degree from Jacksonville University while receiving instruction through a paid, in-person residency at one of several U.S. implant dentistry practices. The first group of dental residents is expected to begin their training in the summer of 2022.

“This offering represents the next in-demand program born from ongoing, open discussions with our health industry partners and colleagues regarding where the market is headed and how Jacksonville University can best meet a very specific need for top-tier education and training,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “Jacksonville University is proud to partner with the professionals at COIRF and AAID to advance this highly specialized and growing field within dentistry.” 

Jacksonville University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Christine Sapienza added: “This new postdoctoral program builds on the strength of our esteemed School of Orthodontics, offering another distinct pathway for advanced learning beyond the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Moreover, Jacksonville University’s intimate learning environment means the residents in this program will receive highly individualized training and mentorship from experienced faculty who are certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology and invested in the success of each student.”

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, people 65 and older will outnumber those 18 and younger by 2030. As the population ages, the likelihood that patients need dental implants increases. In recent years, dental implants have increasingly become the solution of choice to restore smiles and dental functionality to aging patients. To address demand, more dentists are seeking training in implantology to expand their skills and service offerings in their practices. 

“Oral implantology is a $6.8 billion industry that will only continue to grow, and the dramatic advances in knowledge within this field in recent years has created the need for an implantology branch within dentistry,” said Dr. Andrew MacConnell, DDS, MIIF, FAAID, DABOI/ID, President of the Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency Foundation. “Completion of the JU Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency Program can be used to satisfy the application requirements of multiple organizations and certifying boards in oral implantology.”

Dr. Hilt Tatum, widely regarded as one of the world’s most skilled dental implant surgeons and founder of the Dental Implant Residency Program, developed the program with the AAID post-graduate core curriculum for dental implantology. Dr. Duke Heller is an Honored Fellow of the AAID, board certified in Oral Implantology and has performed more than 20,000 implants in his career. 

“Dr. Heller and I are proud to join forces with Jacksonville University to provide students a much-needed educational opportunity for comprehensive clinical training in advanced oral implantology procedures,” Dr. Tatum said. “This program solves a long-standing challenge in our field that relates to a lack of training programs and will impact it for years to come as Jacksonville University graduates exceptional, skilled and certified oral implantologists.”

Applications are due April 15, 2022 and can be submitted online at ju.edu/implant. Jacksonville University is offering a scholarship for residents of the Alfred L. “Duke” Heller & O. Hilt Tatum Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency Program. It will provide $10,000 for the first year the resident participates in the program. 

The Certificate in Comprehensive Oral Implantology joins several new programs launched in the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences in the last year, including a Master of Science in Medical Sciences, a Master of Science in Respiratory Care, and an accelerated, 12-month Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 

For more information about the Comprehensive Oral Implantology program and scholarship, visit ju.edu/implant.