A common question among dental students is, “what’s the difference between a GPR and an AEGD?”

About two weeks ago, I had an opportunity to attend the American Student Dental Association’s Annual Session and sit in on a lecture about the similarities and differences between general practice residencies (GPR) and advanced education in general dentistry programs (AEGD). Here is what was discussed:

Location: GPRs are usually hospital based while AEGDs are commonly located in dental schools or community clinics. Unfortunately, this statement does not always hold true because some GPRs are located in clinics and some AEGDs are found in hospitals, so when deciding where to apply, an applicant should plan to contact each program to learn more about the practice setting.

Case Selection: Generally, AEGDs focus on completing cases from start to finish. Many students described AEGDs as a fifth year of dental school – giving students an opportunity to undertake more challenging prosthetic, endodontic, and aesthetic cases. Many students would describe the procedures performed at an AEGD to fall under the category of “elective dentistry”.

GPRs are notorious for providing students with surgical experiences superior to a typical predoctoral education. This may include surgical extractions, implant placements, and apexifications. Since most GPRs are hospital based, they are often designed to deliver dental care to the medically compromised. This means that most of your patient’s health histories may introduce limitations to the type of dental care they can tolerate.

General Medicine: GPRs often require hospital rotations in sedation, internal medicine, general surgery, and more; AEGDs do not.

On Call: GPRs typically require an on-call commitment;  AEGDs do not.

Here’s a PDF document published by UCSF describing the similiarities and differences between GPRs and AEGDs that may be useful: http://career.ucsf.edu/sites/career.ucsf.edu/files/PDF/DentistryresidencyGPR.pdf