Department of Pediatric Dentistry

Predoctoral Program

The aim of the Pediatric Dentistry predoctoral program is to introduce students to basic principles of pediatric care and teachings through lectures, workshops, and clinical rotations. Pediatric instruction is offered in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years as a dental student.

Year 2-Pediatric Dentistry/Growth & Development

The goal of the course in Pediatric Dentistry is to introduce the second year student to the basic concepts of dental care for the child patient through lectures, pre-clinical workshops and in the clinical assisting of more advanced students. Topics covered in the course include: craniofacial growth mechanisms, craniofacial growth related to body growth, development of the dentition, development of occlusion, radiographs in pediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry for the pediatric patient, early childhood caries, cariology and prevention, the treatment of deep caries and pulp therapy, periodontal treatment of the pediatric patient, special health care needs patients, local anesthesia and oral surgery for the pediatric patient, prevention and interception of malocclusion, space maintenance and regaining, the premature loss of primary teeth, anterior and posterior cross-bites, ankylosis and ectopic eruption, behavior management in pediatric dentistry, craniofacial abnormalities, acquired and developmental disturbances, traumatic injuries to the dentition, history taking, examination and treatment planning for the pediatric patient.

Years 3 and 4

The goals of the seminars and clinical rotations in Pediatric Dentistry are to expose the student to the clinical care of infants, children and adolescents. The topics and clinical activities specifically focus on: comprehensive diagnosis and treatment planning, infant oral health care, preventive strategies (oral prophylaxis, fluoride application, pit and fissure sealants), radiographs in pediatric dentistry, local anesthesia for the pediatric patient, pulp therapy, trauma, restorative dentistry for primary and young permanent teeth, minor oral surgery, behavior management, and the prevention and interception of malocclusion due to the premature loss of primary teeth or other etiologies requiring minor orthodontic care.

Postdoctoral Program in Pediatric Dentistry

The Advanced two year Certificate of Achievement Program in Pediatric Dentistry trains dentists in the specialty in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In order to fulfill the mission, the student is educated in the biomedical sciences and the supporting clinical sciences to the extent that the student is proficient in providing both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.

The didactic experiences include course work in the basic and clinical sciences, seminar and laboratory sessions, an independent, written research project presented to the faculty, and preparing for the written examination of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The clinical sciences include: outreach community services, operating room services, anesthesia, adolescent dentistry, pediatrics, medically compromised patients, conscious sedation, hospital dentistry, and presenting clinical cases to the standards of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Overall, we wish to produce clinically proficient and scientifically adept graduates capable of diagnosing and treating all types of pediatric patients encountered in specialty practice. A Master of Science Program is offered for an additional year and includes some of the courses offered in the Certificate Program.

Academic Courses

Departmental Courses

  • Head and Neck Anatomy
  • Dental Radiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Research Methodology
    • Introduction to Scientific Methodology and Writing
  • Applied Nutrition
  • Oral Microbiology
  • Epidemiology and Interpretation of Scientific Literature
  • Biomaterials
  • Immunology
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology
    • Hypnosis
    • Pharmacology
  • Craniofacial Growth and Development
  • Preventive and Interceptive Orthodontics
  • Special Health Care Needs
  • Hospital Dentistry
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Infant Oral Health
  • Speech and Language Pathology
  • Dental Management of Traumatic Injuries
  • Applied Behavior Management
  • Pediatric Dentistry Journal Review
  • Practice Management
  • Clinical Science Core Courses
  • Restorative Dentistry
  • Adolescent Dentistry
  • Airway Management
  • Weekly Case Presentation Seminars
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Planning Sessions
    • Laser Dentistry in Children and Adolescents
    • General Anesthesia Rotation
    • General Pediatrics Rotation

Postdoctoral Program Consumer Information for Students and Applicants

Download information on cost of attendance and other important information.

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Pediatric Dentistry Faculty

Cheen Loo, B.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., D.M.D., Associate Professor and Interim Chair
Dr. Loo is associate professor and Director of the Postdoctoral Program in Pediatric Dentistry. She received her dental degree (BDS) and PhD from the University of Sydney, her MPH and Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Boston University and her DMD from Tufts University. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She has authored numerous professional articles in the scientific journals with a research interest in microbiology, early childhood caries and autism.

Huw Thomas, Professor and Dean of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine View bio >>

Nour Fathi Gowharji, B.D.S., Assistant Professor
Dr. Nour Gowharji is an Assistant Professor and Predoctoral Program Director at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. She received her BDS from King Abdul Aziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2003. She then received her Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 2006. She became board certified in 2007, and a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She has numerous publications on assessing skeletal growth and maturity and interests in growth and development and behavior management.

Mohammad Magdi Hassan, Assistant Professor
Dr. Mohamed Hassan graduated from Manipal University dental school in India in 1998. In 2001, Dr. Hassan joined Tufts Universityfor a three year postgraduate residency program in pediatric dentistry and received his Master of Science from Tufts University in 2005. After leaving Tufts, Dr. Hassan worked in M private practice in Florida and Saudi Arabia before eventually joining the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia as an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry between 2008 – 2010. In 2010, Dr. Hassan joined the Lutheran Medical Center as an Associate Director of the Pediatric Dentistry residency program site at Holyoke, MA. Dr. Hassan joined Tufts as Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry in 2011 while still maintaining his teaching appointment at Lutheran Medical center. He has lectured internationally and published research in various subjects. Dr. Hassan is a Board certified Pediatric Dentist since 2005.

Robert Zee, B.D.S., Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor
Dr. Robert YL Zee is a clinical teaching faculty at the Department since 2013. Robert received his undergraduate dental training at the University of Sydney, Australia. He received further training, in human genetics and molecular biology in human complex disorders, at the Department of Physiology and Medicine, University of Sydney, and in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health. His academic/scientific interests have been in relation to large-scale genetic epidemiology in human complex diseases, including cardio/cerebrovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. He is a research associate at the Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Laura Camacho-Castro, C.D., D.M.D., Associate Clinical Professor
Dr. Camacho-Castro is an Associate Professor in Pediatric Dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and previous Postdoctoral Director. She received her DDS degree from the Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico and her Certificate of Achievement in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts University. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry since 2004. Dr. Camacho-Castro has been involved and has consulted in over a dozen children’s health care agencies and Outreach activities regarding dental disease and improving behavior towards dental health. She has authored several articles in the pediatric dental literature and has presented numerous lectures and continuing education courses at professional national and international meetings. Dr. Camacho-Castro’s areas of expertise are related to Special needs Children and Adolescents and their oral care.

Meletia Laskou, D.D.S., D.M.D., Associate Clinical Professor
Dr. Meletia Laskou is an associate clinical professor and part-time faculty member at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. She received her DDS degree from Aristotle University, Greece, and her DMD and Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts University. She is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Laskou teaches pediatric dentistry at both the pre-doctoral and post-doctoral levels. She has clinical and surgical privileges at Tufts Medical Center and is actively engaged in private practice and part-time teaching.

Alfred Rich, Associate Clinical Professor
Dr. Rich is an Associate Clinical Professor and part-time member of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. He received his DMD degree, MDS, and Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Pittsburgh.  He was a Mott Fellow and spent a year at Mott Children’s Health Center in Flint Michigan. He has authored multiple publications in the professional literature and has special research interest in nasal and oral airways. He presents a departmental course on airways’ effects on dentofacial growth, malocclusion and behavior.  He also has the responsibility for monitoring the status of the research projects for the postdoctoral program.

Marjan Askari, Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Marjan Askari graduated Summa Cum Laude with a DMD from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She completed her specialty training in Orthodontics together with a MS degree from the University of Maryland. Dr. Askari is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. Askari’s professional memberships include: Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the Dental Honor Fraternity, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, and the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists. She is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Tufts University  and the Director of Orthodontics at the Holyoke Health Center, providing orthodontic care to the underserved population in Massachusetts. She is a member of the cleft lip and palate team at Shriner’s Hospital for Children.  Dr. Askari  is also a clinical director and the orthodontist at The Smile institute. In her spare time, she enjoys recreational time with her family, doing yoga, playing the piano, and painting.

Stuart Gould, D.M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr. Gould is an assistant clinical professor and part-time member of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry faculty.  He received his DMD degree from Tufts University, his Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts Medical Center, and a Fellowship Certificate in Dental Anesthesia from Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.  He holds multiple consultant positions at various hospitals in Massachusetts.  In addition, he has been engaged in private practice limited to Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics for more than 40 years. Dr. Gould’s primary responsibility to the department is in the supervision of the sedation clinic in the postdoctoral program.

Diba Dastjerdi, D.D.S., D.M.D., Clinical Instructor
Dr.Diba  Dastjerdi received her DDS degree and certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran,Iran. After she and her family relocated to the USA, she received her DMD from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 2007. She is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.  She maintains a successful private practice in Boston. Her interests are in the field of behavior management, pulpal therapy and adolescent dentistry. Dr. Dastjerdi’s daughter is a second year student at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

Maria Krisineli, D.M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Dr Kritsineli is an Assistant Clinical Professor and part time member of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. She received her DDS from Aristotle University, Greece and both her DMD and Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts University. She is also Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry by ABPD. Dr Kritsineli is currently the Dental Clinic Director of two special education schools; Cotting School and Nashoba Learning Group. She has published in professional journals and her interests are in preventive and interceptive malocclusion and in children with autism spectrum disorders. Dr Kritsineli is actively engaged in private practice and has surgical privileges in various hospitals in Massachusetts.

Marcelo Suzuki, D.M.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Marcelo Suzuki graduated from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana (Brazil) in 2000. Subsequently, he completed a residency in prosthodontics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL) in 2005 and a fellowship in maxillofacial prosthetics and dental oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX). He specializes in all aspects of prosthetic rehabilitation, including congenital and acquired head and neck deformities. Besides his appointment as consulting prosthodontist with the department of pediatric dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, he is also an Associate Professor with the Department of Prosthodontics and operative dentistry at TUSDM.

Gerald Swee, D.M.D.Clinical Instructor
Dr. Swee is an Assistant Clinical Professor and part-time member of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry faculty. He received his D.M.D. from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston and completed a two year pediatric dentistry residency at Tufts/New England Medical Center.  He also holds a Masters degree in Oral Biology from UCLA and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Swee also works in private practice in the greater Boston area. Dr. Swee’s primary responsibility to the department is to oversee direct patient care in the pre-doctoral and postdoctoral pediatric clinics.

Volunteer faculty:

Leonard Carapezza, Associate Clinical Professor

Joseph O’Donnell, Associate Clinical Professor

David Tesini, Associate Clinical Professor

Arnold Weiss, Associate Clinical Professor
Dr. Arnold Weiss received his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University in New York, his dental degree from New York University College of Dentistry, and his post doctoral degree and Masters in Pediatric Dentistry from Boston University School of Dental Medicine. Dr Weiss is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Pediatric Dentistry, and has taught at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine for over 20 years. He holds staff positions at Tufts NEMC, Harvard University, and The Massachusetts General Hospital. He is involved in mentoring programs with Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts University, and New England College of Optometry. The teaching opportunities enable Dr. Weiss to guide students in building career and life choices. He has an active pediatric dental group practice in Brookline, Mass for 39 years.  Dr Weiss is active in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and a member of the Council on Clinical Affairs, which creates Policies and Guidelines for the clinical practice of pediatric dentistry. His expertise is in behavior guidance of the pediatric patient and in the management and systems of the practice of pediatric dentistry. Dr Weiss also volunteers and lectures nationally and internationally to physicians and dentists about the care of young children and their dental health.

John Ficarelli, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Christina Zervou, Adjunct Assistant Professor

William Chan, Assistant Clinical Professor

Manoush Darvish, Adjunct Intructor

Martin Kaplan, D.M.D., Clinical Instructor
Dr. Martin Kaplan completed his undergraduate degree at The University of Massachusetts Amherst campus with a B.S. in Zoology and then attended Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. After earning his DMD degree he completed his pediatric dental residency at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York. Dr. Kaplan has been practicing in Stoughton ma since 1977. He is an adjunct clinical professor at Tufts University School of dental medicine in the Post-graduate pediatric dental department. For the past 9 years he has introduced the residents to laser dentistry and has been instrumental in several studies with his students. Most recently he has initiated an infant frenotomy clinic to assist with newborns who have breastfeeding difficulties due to frenum attachment problems. He is a member of: American dental Association; Massachusetts dental Society; American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; Academy of Laser Dentistry; Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition; Breastfeeding USA. He has lectured on the practical use of lasers in pediatric dentistry. When not practicing dentistry he enjoys weight lifting and the martial arts. He has attained a 4th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate.

Nooruddin S. Pradhan, Assistant Professor
Dr Pradhan is a clinical assistant professor in Pediatric Dentistry. He received his BDS degree from Liaquat Medical College, Pakistan and his DMD, MS and Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Tufts University. He holds a Fellowship Certificate in Craniomandibular Joint Disorder from Tufts University. He also  achieved a  status of Diplomate of  the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr Pradhan has a staff attending  position at Tufts Medical Center and Franciscan Hospital for Children. Dr Pradhan has numerous publication in the professional journals and is a well –sought speaker on TMJ disorders and has an active research interest in cariology , dental trauma and composite materials. Dr Pradhan is a member of ADA, AAPD, ABPD, MDS professional organization.

Rocio Saavedra, Clinical Instructor

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