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Advanced Dental Education Residency Program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

The Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Advanced Dental Education/Residency Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine requires a three-year course of study. The goals of the program are to provide an excellent advanced education in the specialty of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, to provide high quality clinical care, and to conduct research designed to advance the knowledge of the specialty. The curriculum reflects this mission and provides residents with the necessary knowledge and experience to enter the specialty well prepared for practice. The curriculum is based upon a solid foundation of scientific principles and methods that residents may use as a rational framework for understanding treatment and evaluating future changes in the specialty. The application of basic and clinical scientific knowledge to the practice of orthodontics is the fundamental tenet of the curriculum.

Successful completion of the program leads to a certificate in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, and enables graduates to participate in the American Board of Orthodontics certifying examination. Students may also pursue a course of study leading to a Master of Dental Science degree in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Components of the Program

  • Clinical training which prepares the resident for specialty board certification
  • Education from a broad curriculum, which provides residents with greater insight on the nature of orthodontics
  • Research to enrich the profession and develop critical thinking skills


The curriculum for the Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Residency Program is designed to be taught at the postdoctoral level. The path of study followed by the residents comprises a core curriculum of graduate level basic sciences, followed by a broad course of study in craniofacial biology, clinical sciences, and orthodontic techniques. A significant portion of the curriculum is devoted to clinical orthodontics, allowing the resident to develop proficiency through a broad, diverse experience in patient care.

Conferences provide an excellent foundation in the basic and clinical sciences and provide opportunity for growth and development in dental statistics, occlusion and malocclusion, development of the dentition, dentofacial abnormalities, biomechanical orthodontics, genetics, bone biology, cephalometrics, diagnosis and treatment planning, evidence-based care, surgical orthodontics, practice management, and orthodontic technique. Orthodontic conferences and literature review sessions provide opportunities for critical analysis of historical and current literature with application to contemporary orthodontic principles in case diagnosis and treatment planning.

Application Process

Applicants must apply through the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) and register for the Dental Match. Four residents are accepted each year, and all positions are awarded through the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program in the Phase I (fall) match. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Under Program Materials of the application you will find a field, "Please enter your current/final dental school GPA." If your dental school does not provide a GPA, you should enter zero, "0" in the numerical value field. This will indicate that the information is not available.

Dentists must be graduates of schools accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) within the United States, Canada or abroad.

By reciprocal agreement, programs that are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada are recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

For a list of CODA-accredited international programs, go to the American Dental Association website Note that candidates who attended dental school outside of the US and Canada are required to achieve TOEFL scores of at least 90. The exam score must be current (less than two years old).

The program currently does NOT accept applicants who graduated from a non-CODA accredited dental school.

 Supplemental Application Fee

A non-refundable $75 supplemental application fee is required at time of application.

Pay Your Application Fee Now

Application Deadline

The application deadline is September 1 of the previous year. 

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Research

Scholarly activity in the form of basic or clinical research  is a fundamental component of the curriculum. Residents design, implement, and complete a research project that provides greater knowledge of the specialty and permit residents to develop the ability to apply the scientific method.

The Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedics Residency Program requires a research project to be completed prior to graduation.

The following are titles of research projects completed or in progress by orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics residents:

  • Characteristics Affecting Utilization of Dental Services in Medicaid-Enrolled Children
  • Maturational Staging of the Midpalatal and Zygomaticomaxillary Sutures: A Morphological Study Using CBCT
  • Facture Resistance of Tie Wings of Ceramic Brackets Under Loading
  • Relationship Between Cranial Base Development and Cleft Lip and Palate in Prickle1 Beetlejuice Mutant: Case Control Study
  • Effect of Maxillary Expansion on Sleep Quality
  • Association Between Mandibular Incisor to Mandibular Plane Angle (IMPA) and Periodontal Health Status Based on Loss of Clinical Attachment Level (CAL): A Cross-Sectional Study
  • The Effect of Skeletal Form on Second Molar Impaction
  • Protraction Headgear Compliance and Orthognathic Surgery in Patient with Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Comparison of Vacuum-Formed Retainer Protocols Using 3_Shape OrthAnalyzer
  • The Effect of Maxillary Expansion on Pediatric Obstructive Sleep
  • The Effect of Build Angle on Compressive Strength of 3-D Printed Orthodontic Aligners
  • Comparative Analysis of Two Clear Aligner Systems for Orthodontic Refinement
  • Comparison of Bracket Failure Using a Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Primer
  • The Effect of Bite Turbos on Mandibular Anterior Bracket Failure Rate: A Retrospective Study
  • A comparison of Interior Turbinate Hypertrophy in Pediatric Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Potential Downstream Targe Genes of Isl1 During Root-To-Crown Transition of the Mouse Incisor
  • Evaluation of Different Base Designs on 3-D Printed Models in the Transverse Dimension; A Pilot Stude
  • Identifying Differentially Expressed Genes in the Anterior vs. Posterior Palatal Shelves at the Time of Elevation
  • A Comparison of Tensile Strength and Modulus of Elasticity of Orthodontic Archwires
  • Genetic Variation Causing Human Tooth Agenesis
  • Genetic Variation Contributing to Microdontia
  • Impact of Model Base Design and Three-Dimensional (3D) Print Settings on the Quality of Orthodontic Retainers 
  • Residents are encouraged to participate in existing projects or pursue individual research projects with faculty mentors.

The advanced specialty education program in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653, or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission's web address is