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5.15 - Orthodontics

College of Dentistry


1201 North Stonewall, Rm. 400
PO Box 26901
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73190

Stephen McCullough, DDS, MS, Graduate Program Director

For a complete listing of the departmental graduate faculty visit this web site 

Master of Science

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

To meet the need for patient care and research in the field of orthodontics, a graduate program in this dental specialty was established in 1981. The program prepares dental graduates to manage the full range of dentofacial discrepancies which fall within the responsibility of the orthodontist. Current knowledge and research findings are applied to patient care in all age groups. A thesis is required. The degree awarded is a Master of Science, with orthodontics as the area of specialization.

All students in the graduate program must hold a DDS or equivalent. To be accepted for admission, the applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from the dean of the dental school which awarded the degree that includes class rank and dental school grade point average of the applicant. Three additional letters of recommendation are required; at least two of these letters should be from former faculty. A personal interview will be requested of applicants.

The length of the program is a minimum period of 30 months. Additional time commitment may be required for satisfactory completion of clinical and thesis requirements. The program begins on July 1 of each year. Deadline for application is September 1 of the year preceding the year of desired admission. Potential students are asked to correspond directly with the department for additional information about the graduate program.

Patients assigned for treatment under faculty supervision will present a spectrum of orthodontic problems. Before graduating, the student must be deemed proficient in both didactic course work and the clinical discipline of orthodontics by department faculty. The core curriculum consists of 36 credit hours including sciences that are basic to orthodontics. In addition, the student will be registered for a minimum of eight credit hours in Research for Master's Thesis and eight credit hours in Clinical Practice of the specialty. The student also may be required to register for courses with variable credit hours. The program involves 70 credit hours.

The master's thesis, based on original research, may focus on a number of topics in growth and development, as well as function of the stomatognathic system. Other areas for study include craniofacial 2D and 3D imaging, 3D printing, temporary anchorage devices, factors related to balance or imbalance of dental occlusion, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, effects of various types of orthodontic  mechanotherapy, testing of biomaterials relevant to orthodontic practice, biologic tissue response including white spot lesions, and psychosocial impact of malocclusion and its treatment on patients. Facilities exist at the Health Sciences Center to conduct research related to these topics. Students will be assigned limited clinical, didactic and laboratory teaching responsibilities in the predoctoral orthodontic  program.

Most orthodontists have full-time private practices of the specialty. However, there are other career opportunities, one of which is academics. There are opportunities also with the military and the public health services. Part-time opportunities in academics may also be available.

Current Courses:  Search ORTHO prefix courses found online at

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