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Orthodontics, M.S. in Dentistry

Saint Louis University's orthodontic program strives to balance progressive excellence with the highest standards and the compassionate service of our Catholic, Jesuit heritage. Graduates leave SLU prepared to be astute and aware clinicians using an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to caring for craniofacial and dental patient problems.

Curriculum Overview

Saint Louis University's orthodontic program offers three basic areas of training: an extensive and comprehensive clinical experience that involves diagnosis, treatment planning, active treatment and retention of patients representing a variety of malocclusions and craniofacial deformities; core courses that include biomedical sciences and clinical concepts; and orthodontic research. Students will need to complete 88 credits to graduate.

Specific courses include facial development, biomechanics, clinical cephalometrics, oral biology, surgical orthodontics, orthodontic problems related to the cleft-palate patient, speech problems related to the oral mechanism, history of orthodontics, diagnosis and treatment planning, clinical diagnosis, orthodontic analysis and treatment modalities, introduction to clinical orthodontics, principles of orthodontic techniques, seminar on child and adolescent psychology, digital orthodontics, scenario-based case analysis, orthodontic business management, review for the ABO examination and thesis research.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Following preliminary laboratory and classroom instruction, each resident in the orthodontic program initiates treatment on a large number of patients who present a broad array of dental malocclusions and skeletal deformities. Although residents are first introduced to the Tweed edgewise philosophy form of treatment, students are also exposed to Tip-Edge mechanics (the sequel to Begg therapy), functional and other removable appliances, and various straight wire appliances. The supervising faculty members present their philosophies and techniques by means of lectures, seminars, laboratory exercises and demonstrations.

In the clinic, students are exposed to a wide array of patient types. Children, adolescents and adults are treated; consequently, students are exposed to treatment in the deciduous, mixed and adult dentitions. Students are also exposed to cases with compromised oral health that require consideration of periodontal, restorative and temporomandibular joint treatment. As a result, many patients are treated by an interdisciplinary approach with other healthcare professionals. Throughout the clinical experience, each student receives a great deal of faculty attention. The development of diagnostic and treatment skills is emphasized as a major responsibility to students.

Additional courses and seminars augment the clinical experience, covering the topics of diagnosis and treatment planning, cephalometrics, theoretical and practical biomechanics, oral pathology, oral medicine, multidisciplinary treatment, speech disorders, craniofacial defects with particular emphasis on cleft lip/palate rehabilitation, adolescent and adult psychology, implants, dentofacial orthopedics, surgical orthodontics, TMJ disorders, and practice management.

Students also receive training in research design and statistics and must conduct an original research project. This effort leads to the preparation and defense of a thesis and, subsequently, the production of a manuscript suitable for publication in a journal relating to the specialty of orthodontics. The experience of discovery provided by such research is an integral part of the graduate program, and students are expected to produce a meaningful contribution to the field of orthodontics.

Careers

Our goal is to prepare orthodontic graduates to pursue a career with many possibilities: as a clinician with a practice limited to orthodontics, as a researcher or as a teacher of orthodontics.

Admission Requirements

A D.D.S., D.M.D., or equivalent general dental degree is required for matriculation in this and all other Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education dental training programs. 

Application Requirements

  • Online application through ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • National board score test results (not required for international applicants)
  • GRE Scores
  • Transcript(s)
  • Biographical goals statement
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • National Match number

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadline

Applications must be completed by Sept. 1 to be considered for the orthodontic program beginning the summer semester of the following year.

Review Process

Promising applicants are invited for on-site interviews beginning in October. The orthodontic program subscribes to a national matching service and the "tell date" occurs in late November or early December.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for graduate assistantship, apply by Feb. 1. 

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at http://finaid.slu.edu.  

Accreditation

The orthodontic program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Following completion of the program, graduates are educationally qualified for certification by the American Board of Orthodontics.

  1. Graduates will be able to use the knowledge and concepts of orthodontics, apply major practices, theories, or evidence-based literature in clinical orthodontics.
  2. Graduates will be able to assess relevant literature or scholarly contributions in orthodontics.
  3. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience, in both oral and written forms.
  4. Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly and professional integrity in orthodontics.
BBS 5100Ethics for Research Scientists0
CAD 5010Pain: Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Treatment1
CAD 5050Introduction to Statistical Inference3
CAD 5060Ethics and Dentistry0
CAD 5070Bone and Periodontal Physiology2
CAD 5110Small Business Basics1
CAD 5140Temporomandibular Disorders1
CAD 5175Advanced Oral Pathology & Medicine2
CAD 5190Advanced Head and Neck Anatomy2
CAD 5240Temporary Skeletal Anchorage1
CAD 5250Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning (taken every semester)0
ORES 5100Research Methods in Health & Medicine3
ORTH 5020Orthodontic Business Management2
ORTH 5030Facial Growth2
ORTH 5010Fundamentals of Orthodontics2
ORTH 5100Biomechanics1
ORTH 5250Clinical Cephalometrics2
ORTH 5350Surgical Orthodontics1
ORTH 5370Orthodontic Problems Related to Cleft Palate Patient1
ORTH 5390Speech Disorders Related to the Oral Mechanism1
ORTH 5400History of Orthodontics0
ORTH 5490Diagnosis Procedures in Orthodontics1
ORTH 5530Clinical Diagnosis I1
ORTH 5540Clinical Diagnosis II1
ORTH 5550Orthodontic Analysis & Treatment Modalities1
ORTH 5560Clinical Case Conferences (taken over multiple semesters)5
ORTH 5580Clinical Specialty Seminars (taken over multiple semesters)8
ORTH 5590Orthodontic Aspects of Sleep Breathing Disorders1
ORTH 5600 Introduction to Clinical Orthodontics I1
ORTH 5620Principles of Orthodontic Techniques I2
ORTH 5630Principles of Orthodontic Techniques II2
ORTH 5650Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners1
ORTH 5660Contemporary Orthodontics I1
ORTH 5670Contemporary Orthodontics II1
ORTH 5700Clinical Procedures1
ORTH 5710Clinical Orthodontics I2
ORTH 5720Clinical Orthodontics II3
ORTH 5730Clinical Orthodontics III1
ORTH 5740Clinical Orthodontics IV3
ORTH 5750Clinical Orthodontics V3
ORTH 5760Clinical Orthodontics VI1
ORTH 5770Clinical Orthodontics VII3
ORTH 5780Clinical Orthodontics VIII0
ORTH 5800Child and Adolescent Psychology1
ORTH 5840Early and Mixed Dentition1
ORTH 5850Adult Treatment2
ORTH 5890Review for the American Board of Orthodontics Examination0
ORTH 5910Literature Review (taken over multiple semesters)2
ORTH 5940Orthodontic Internship1
ORTH 5950Special Study for Exams0
ORTH 5990Thesis Research6
ORTH 6000Treatment Planning with Digital Technology1
ORTH 6010Digital Orthodontics I1
ORTH 6020Digital Orthodontics II2
ORTH 6050Scenario Based Case Analysis0
Total Credits88

Non-Course Requirements

Supervised active and retention clinical orthodontic treatment of patients; comprehensive orthodontic specialty examinations utilizing written, oral, and practical clinical formats.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
SummerCredits
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 5250 Clinical Cephalometrics (extends into fall) 0
ORTH 5490 Diagnosis Procedures in Orthodontics 1
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 0
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5600 Introduction to Clinical Orthodontics I 1
ORTH 5620 Principles of Orthodontic Techniques I 2
ORTH 5700 Clinical Procedures 1
ORTH 5710 Clinical Orthodontics I 0
 Credits6
Fall
CAD 5050 Introduction to Statistical Inference 3
CAD 5240 Temporary Skeletal Anchorage 1
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 5030 Facial Growth 2
ORTH 5100 Biomechanics 1
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 1
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5630 Principles of Orthodontic Techniques II 2
ORTH 5660 Contemporary Orthodontics I 1
ORTH 5710 Clinical Orthodontics I 2
ORTH 5250 Clinical Cephalometrics 2
ORTH 6000 Treatment Planning with Digital Technology 1
ORTH 5010 Fundamentals of Orthodontics 1
 Credits18
Spring
BBS 5100 Ethics for Research Scientists (online) 0
CAD 5060 Ethics and Dentistry 0
CAD 5070 Bone and Periodontal Physiology 1
CAD 5190 Advanced Head and Neck Anatomy 2
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 5010 Fundamentals of Orthodontics 1
ORTH 6010 Digital Orthodontics I 1
ORTH 5630 Principles of Orthodontic Techniques II 1
ORTH 5550 Orthodontic Analysis & Treatment Modalities 1
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 1
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5650 Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners 1
ORTH 5670 Contemporary Orthodontics II 1
ORTH 5720 Clinical Orthodontics II 3
ORTH 5840 Early and Mixed Dentition 0
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research 0
CAD 5140 Temporomandibular Disorders 1
 Credits15
Year Two
Summer
CAD 5010 Pain: Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Treatment 1
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORES 5100 Research Methods in Health & Medicine (online) 3
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 0
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5730 Clinical Orthodontics III 1
ORTH 6020 Digital Orthodontics II 0
ORTH 5800 Child and Adolescent Psychology 1
ORTH 5840 Early and Mixed Dentition 0
ORTH 5910 Literature Review 0
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research 1
 Credits8
Fall
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 6020 Digital Orthodontics II 1
CAD 5175 Advanced Oral Pathology & Medicine 2
ORTH 5350 Surgical Orthodontics 1
ORTH 5370 Orthodontic Problems Related to Cleft Palate Patient 1
ORTH 5390 Speech Disorders Related to the Oral Mechanism 1
ORTH 5400 History of Orthodontics 0
ORTH 5530 Clinical Diagnosis I 1
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 1
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5590 Orthodontic Aspects of Sleep Breathing Disorders 1
ORTH 5740 Clinical Orthodontics IV 3
ORTH 5840 Early and Mixed Dentition (grade submitted this term) 1
ORTH 5910 Literature Review 1
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research 1
 Credits16
Spring
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 5540 Clinical Diagnosis II 1
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 1
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5750 Clinical Orthodontics V 3
ORTH 5850 Adult Treatment 0
ORTH 5890 Review for the American Board of Orthodontics Examination 1
ORTH 5910 Literature Review 1
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research 1
ORTH 5020 Orthodontic Business Management 1
ORTH 6020 Digital Orthodontics II 1
ORTH 5650 Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners 0
 Credits11
Year Three
Summer
CAD 5110 Small Business Basics 1
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 0
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5760 Clinical Orthodontics VI 1
ORTH 5850 Adult Treatment 0
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research 1
ORTH 5020 Orthodontic Business Management 0
ORTH 6050 Scenario Based Case Analysis 0
 Credits4
Fall
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning 0
ORTH 5560 Clinical Case Conferences 1
ORTH 5580 Clinical Specialty Seminars 1
ORTH 5770 Clinical Orthodontics VII 3
ORTH 5850 Adult Treatment (grade submitted this term) 2
ORTH 5950 Special Study for Exams (also spring/summer if 36 months) 0
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research 2
ORTH 5020 Orthodontic Business Management 1
ORTH 6050 Scenario Based Case Analysis 0
 Credits10
 Total Credits88

Optional Spring and Summer for 36-month Program

Plan of Study Grid
Year Three
SpringCredits
ORTH 5780 Clinical Orthodontics VIII 1
ORTH 5940 Orthodontic Internship (Optional) 1
ORTH 5950 Special Study for Exams (Optional) 0
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research (Optional) 0
 Credits2
Year Four
Summer
ORTH 5780 Clinical Orthodontics VIII 0
ORTH 5940 Orthodontic Internship (Optional) 0
ORTH 5990 Thesis Research (Optional) 0
CAD 5250 Multidisciplinary & Evidence Based Diagnosis & Treatment Planning (Optional) 0
 Credits0
 Total Credits2