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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 23, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Certificate

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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 Masters in Dental Science (MDS). 

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. 

 Supplemental Application Fee 

A non-refundable $50 supplemental application fee is required at time of application. 

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: 

  • A Comparison of Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy in Pediatric Cleft Patients 

  • Comparison of Bracket Failure Using a Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Primer 

  • Comparative Analysis of Two Clear Aligner Systems for Orthodontic Refinement 

  • The Effect of Bite Turbos on Mandibular Anterior Bracket Failure Rate: A Retrospective Study 

  • The Comparison of Tensile Strength, Modulus of Elasticity and Bending Modulus of Arch Wires used in Orthodontics 

  • Impact of Model Base Design and Three-Dimensional (3D) Print Settings on the Quality of Orthodontic Retainers 

  • Genetic Variation Contributing to Microdontia 

  • Genetic Variation Involving Human Tooth Agenesis  

  • The Impact of Computer Aided Design (CAD) on the Accuracy and Fit of Direct Print Aligners (DPA) 

Read more about the Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Residency Program by visiting


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

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