Glossary of Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

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American Dental Education Association (ADEA): ADEA is the leading national organization for dental education and the sponsor of the ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS). Members include all U.S. and Canadian dental schools as well as hospitals and advanced dental education programs; allied dental education programs; dentistry-related companies; faculty; dental residents; and dental students.

Additional Program Designation: You may apply to additional programs after your original application has been processed. You may do this by logging into your ADEA PASS application and clicking on Program Designations. Do not submit a second application. ADEA PASS processes Additional Program Designations as soon as they are complete (including all Required Documents). The fee for Additional Program Designations is $70 for each additional program.

Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD): One- or two-year advanced education programs offered throughout the United States that focus on comprehensive general dentistry.

Anesthesiology (ANES): A field of study dealing with the administration of anesthesia and sedation.

Application: The electronic ADEA PASS application form and required paper documents submitted by an applicant, that include Professional Evaluations (required 2-4), an Institution Evaluation (required), and a dental school transcript (required).

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Country Code: An official code used to report an individual's national origin.

Current Address: The address where an applicant currently resides and where (s)he is currently receiving mail. Important if applicant is at school, on an internship, or for any reason away from her/his permanent home for an extended period of time.

Custom Application: An application in which different essays and Professional Evaluation Forms can be assigned to individual program(s) designated by the applicant. A Custom Application includes at least one essay, one Institution Evaluation Form, and a dental school transcript. 

Custom Essay(s): Part of a custom application, the custom essay allows the applicant to submit different essays to specific programs or different program types. 

Customer Service: Customer Service Representatives are available 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern time to answer questions and assist ADEA PASS applicants. Phone 617-612-2065 or email .

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume: A summary of an individual's accomplishments, personal goals, employment history, and professional achievements.

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Dental Class Ranking: Provided by the dental school on the Institution Evaluation Form. This statistic represents the applicant's class standing relative to the applicant's entire class.

Dental Program: The Postdoctoral Dental Education Program is a program that participates in ADEA PASS, indicated as "PGM" with a number that follows (e.g., PGM#999).

Dental School Transcript: A document, supplied by the dental school attended by the applicant, that lists all courses an applicant completed to receive a dental degree with corresponding grades, grade point average, and possible courses in progress. Please note: Non-U.S. dental school transcripts must be submitted in English or evaluated to be processed.

DENTPIN®: The DENTPIN® (DENTal Personal Identifier Number) is a unique personal identifier assigned by the American Dental Association to each applicant or student who is involved, or wishes to become involved, with the U.S. dental education system and/or standardized testing programs. The DAT, ADEA AADSAS and Texas application systems, ADEA PASS, Dental Match, ADEA CAAPID, the National Board Dental Examination and the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination programs all use the DENTPIN® for identification of students and test-takers and for the confidential, secure reporting, transmission, and tracking of test scores and academic data.)

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ECE ( Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. ): A nonprofit organization that evaluates the U.S. equivalence of foreign education credentials.

eForms: The electronic method of completing and submitting either the Professional or Institution Evaluation Form, accessed through a link sent by email to the evaluator.

Endodontics (ENDO): The branch of dentistry that is concerned with the morphology, physiology, and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Its study and practice encompass the basic and clinical sciences including biology of the normal pulp; the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp; and associated periradicular conditions.

Essay: The part of the ADEA PASS application in which an applicant details why (s)he is pursuing advanced dental education. The ADEA PASS essay may not exceed 5,200 characters in length.

Evaluated Transcript: A report provided to identify the United States equivalent of educational qualifications earned in other countries.

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General Practice Residency (GPR): General dentistry advanced education programs that tend to focus on hospital dental care, including OR, ER, anesthesia, and in-patient and same-day surgery. GPRs vary in length from one to two years.

Geriatric Dentistry (GD): This is the delivery of dental care to older adults involving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems associated with normal aging and age-related diseases as part of an interdisciplinary team with other health care professionals.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): This test measures analytical writing, verbal, and quantitative skills. The GRE is required for admission to some residency and advanced degree (master's, Ph.D.) programs. Information about the GRE can be obtained at .


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Implantology (IMPD): This is a set of surgical techniques aiming at the functional rehabilitation of a patient affected by total or partial edentulism, by using dental implants, i.e. metal elements surgically inserted in the mandibular or maxillary bone, or above them but under the gum. These elements are fitted with connectors to fasten them to fixed or removable prostheses, to enable chewing functionality. Such implants can have different shapes, they can be inserted in different positions, with different techniques, then connected to prostheses at different times.

Institution Evaluation Form: This form is used by the dental school dean or designee to provide information about class rank, grade point average, National Board Dental Examination Scores, and an evaluation of the applicant's suitability for advanced education.

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National Board Dental Examination: A set of standardized tests administered to dental students nationally. Part I of NBDE is generally taken midway through dental school, and the score is (if available) reported by your dean on the Institution Evaluation. You do not need to submit your official score report with your ADEA PASS application.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (OMP): The specialty that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial area. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes and effects of these diseases. The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical or other examinations.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS): The specialty of dentistry that includes the diagnosis and surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Oral Epidermiology (OE): The scientific study of distribution and determinants of oral health and disease in human populations. It seeks to answer three broad questions:

1. Which population groups experience oral disease and related conditions?

2. What factors contribute to the onset of oral disease?

3. What can be done to improve the oral health of populations?

Oral Radiology(OMS): A medical specialty which focuses on the creation and interpretation of diagnostic images of the mouth and surrounding area.

Operative Dentistry (OPERA): The art and science of the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of defects of teeth which do not require full coverage restorations for correction. Such treatment should result in the restoration of proper form, function, and esthetics while maintaining the physiological integrity of the teeth in harmonious relationship with the adjacent hard and soft tissues. These procedures combined to enhance the general health and welfare of the patient.

Orthodontics (ORTHO): The area of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance, and correction of the growing or mature dentofacial structures, including those conditions that require movement of teeth or correction of malrelationships and malformations of their related structures and the adjustment of relationships between and among teeth and facial bones by the application of forces and/or the stimulation and redirection of functional forces within the craniofacial complex.

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ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS): ADEA PASS offers prospective dental residents a convenient, centralized application service to apply to one or more of the 600 advanced dental education programs that participate in the application service. ADEA PASS is an electronic application service that simplifies the application process by providing one standardized format, thereby relieving applicants of the need to complete multiple applications. The advanced dental education programs benefit by receiving uniform information on all applicants. ADEA PASS serves only as an information clearinghouse and does not influence the advanced dental education programs' appraisal or selection of applicants. Each advanced dental education program has the right to request supplemental information from applicants.

ADEA PASS Identification Number (PASS ID): A unique 11-digit number that serves as an identification number for each ADEA PASS applicant. If you have registered for the Dental Match, the last five digits of your ADEA PASS Identification Number will be your Dental Match Code.

Password: A code, chosen by the user, used to access the ADEA PASS application account.

Pediatric Dentistry (PEDDENT): The practice and teaching of comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for children from birth through adolescence, including care for special patients beyond the age of adolescence who demonstrate mental, physical, and/or emotional problems.

Periodontics (PERIO): The specialty of dentistry that encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function, and esthetics of these structures and tissues.

Permanent Address: Address information to which an individual can designate mail to be forwarded if he/she has no current mailing address. Sometimes individuals can use a permanent address as an alternate address. For example, an individual may use a parent's or relative's address as a permanent address.

Postdoctoral Dental Match Program:
A service independent of ADEA PASS that is used to match applicants with available first-year positions in advanced dental education programs that participate in the Dental Match. Not all programs that participate in ADEA PASS participate in the Match, and not all programs that participate in the Dental Match utilize ADEA PASS. Check the programs to which you are applying to determine if you will also need to register for the Dental Match. To register for the Dental Match, create or log in to your existing ADEA PASS account and select Dental Match registration from the available services menu when you are ready to submit your account information for payment and processing.

Postdoctoral Dental Match Code:
The five-digit number issu ed once an applicant has registered for the Dental Match. Your Dental Match code number will be the last five digits of your ADEA PASS account number, even if you do not need to complete an ADEA PASS application in full. You may elect to register for the Dental Match before, at the same time as, or after completing an ADEA PASS application simply by creating or logging in to your existing ADEA PASS account. Your Dental Match code will automatically appear in your ADEA PASS application when it is transmitted to the advanced dental education programs to which you are applying.

Professional Evaluation Form (mandatory): The form used by an evaluator to describe and appraise an applicant's substantial research project, clinical assignment, or other major endeavor. Professional Evaluation Forms may be completed by the evaluator through eForms, or by printing and providing the evaluator with the paper form. Applicants should determine whether the programs they are applying to recommend or require two, three or four Professional Evaluation Forms.

Program Deadline: The final date by which the program must receive the ADEA PASS application and all additional materials for you to be considered for a first-year residency position.

Program Type: A general or specialty discipline pursued beyond the dental degree; includes the ADA-recognized specialties, plus additional areas of study such as anesthesiology, restorative dentistry, etc.

Processing (time): ADEA PASS will process applications after verifying that all required documents are received and completed properly. All required documents, fee payment, and the submitted ADEA PASS application must be received by ADEA PASS to initiate processing. If documents are missing or incomplete, the application process will be halted and you will be contacted through your application.

Prosthodontics (PROS): The branch of dentistry pertaining to the restoration and maintenance of oral functions, comfort, appearance, and health of the patient by the restoration of natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with artificial substitutes.

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Request for Exception: The Request for Exception is submitted with the ADEA PASS application only if you need to explain why you cannot submit an Institution Evaluation Form and/or a dental school transcript. 

Required Documents: The set of documents required to complete your ADEA PASS application, thus initiating and beginning processing, in addition to submitting the electronic application itself. These include an Institution Evaluation Form, Professional Evaluation Forms (2-4), and a dental school transcript.

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Standard Application: The standard ADEA PASS application in which the same set of documents is submitted to all programs designated by the applicant. A Standard Application includes one Applicant Essay, an Institution Evaluation Form, Professional Evaluation Forms (2-4), and a dental school transcript.

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TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): A test that measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is used in college and university settings. Information about theTOEFL is available at .

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Username: A unique short name chosen by the user to access her or his ADEA PASS application account.

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Visa Classification: An official code, comprising letters and numbers, assigned to non-U.S. citizens legally residing within the United States.

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Waiver Statement: A legal statement, necessary for any submitted Professional or Institution Evaluation Form, in which an applicant indicates whether (s)he wants the ability to access an evaluation through the program where enrolled (not through ADEA PASS).

Waived rights: The applicant does not have the right to read the completed evaluation when enrolled as a dental resident. Non-waived rights: The applicant has the right to read the completed evaluation when enrolled as a dental resident.

WES ( World Education Services ): An international credential evaluation services that provides accurate academic reporting for individuals and institutions.

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