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What to look for in an orthodontic residency program

What to look for in an orthodontic residency program

Vandana KatyalDr Katyal’s Publications, General

What if I tell you that you can be the best orthodontic residency programs out there? Extra education plays a big role. As specialists go through clinical experiences, orthodontists are experts in orthodontic diagnosis. In the final year of dental school, you get to choose to apply to a two-to-three years of residency program. The pivotal key to determining which orthodontic residency program to choose from a huge ray of options is right for you is a matter of knowing your purpose in becoming an orthodontist. Some aim to make impacts in local communities, while others want to influence the international world of orthodontics. There are many elements that must be weighed down before making a decision. But don’t worry, we’ll help you to make sure you choose the right residency program that’ll make you enjoy diagnosis and treatment planning. Changing lives by changing smiles would be in a matter of time.


  • Prepare residents for a successful career as an orthodontist in clinical practice.
  • Emphasis on clinical excellence in diagnosis and treatment planning using modern forms of appliances and other treatment modalities

Imagine the day you finally get to remove a patient’s braces. How satisfying would that be? Well, those days are numbered. When searching for the perfect orthodontic residency program, you need to make sure you have completed your application and are ready to submit. There are many subjective elements to help you decide, including dedication to teaching and congeniality of the learning environment.

5 things to consider when choosing a residency program

  • LocationCore areas of research are crucial and need to be considered based on your circumstances.
  • How many people does the program haveResidents usually carry out procedures under the guidance of a certain faculty member. This scenario is easier to achieve with a full-time member, since they are more present in the clinic. This also makes it easier to ask questions and complete the patient’s treatment planning.
  • Residency scheduleWe all know that residency programs are a substantial investment of time. When determining which orthodontic residency program you should apply to, be certain about your goal. If you want to be a private practitioner, then you might want to make sure that the residency emphasises more on clinic time instead of theories and research.
  • Tuition feesTuition may vary from different residency programs. Luckily, stipend can help. If you are on a budget, some residencies offer stipends to help you compensate with the costs.

One of the best ways to enhance the acceptance rate from your dream residency is to start your planning early, usually well months before you graduate dental school. Letters of recommendation also help you to boost your chance to avoid being kept on the waiting list. So make sure you consider these key elements before choosing which orthodontic residency program to apply to.

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What People Are Saying

  • I completed the BOSS UK Diploma in 2021 and when it became available, signed up for the AU course as well. I completed the AU course at the end of last year and can honestly say BOSS (now Digital Orthodontic College) has completely changed my approach to clear aligner treatments and increased my confidence with treatment planning immensely. The fact that the course is 100% online was a huge drawcard for me initially since I have two young children, work clinically part-time and run my own business. It allowed me the flexibility to study when I had the chance and didn’t result in any loss of clinical time. Dr V is extremely passionate about orthodontics and more importantly sharing her wisdom and that comes through in her approach to teaching. The course is extremely comprehensive (NB: the AU course has quite a few complex assessments) and covers everything starting from the basics of tooth movement, which sets a good foundation and is therefore suitable even for beginners. The monthly/bimonthly webinars allow students to share cases and is a safe space, non-judgmental and therefore an incredible learning platform. I had been doing clear aligner treatments prior to starting this course, but BOSS helped me see patients with new eyes and has overhauled my treatment planning approach. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in learning, or to extend their knowledge about, clear aligner treatments.

    Thank you so much Dr V!

    Dr Lora Banicevic, Dentist NSW
  • The Australian accredited 10905NAT Graduate Diploma of Digital Orthodontic Treatment offers comprehensive training in the field, gives the candidate the opportunity to do things in a self-paced manner, while getting a personalised 1-on-1 learning experience with Dr Vandana Katyal. It was an excellent choice for me and gave me the flexibility to get the well-designed training done in my own time frame. I would strongly recommend the course to any practitioners who is looking to upskill themselves with a no-compromise high quality course, while also having to juggle between busy practices and family schedules.

    Dr Charles Sun, Dentist WA
  • I started this course unsure of how much I would benefit. The in-person lectures were fantastic (although the course is now 100% online) where I made good friends and learned a lot. The online resources are extensive and second to none, accessible at your convenience. The webinars were great – usually with the right mix of teaching, cases demonstrated and the attendees’ cases being discussed. I was also invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacturing (from a dentist’s point of view) – which I enjoyed.
    Most of all the course gave significantly more confidence what can be done with aligners, how plan the setup efficiently with the end in mind and how to make the processes to get there smoother. As a result, a MUCH larger chunk of my work is now aligner based. My conversion rate for aligner treatments has definitely increased along with my confidence. The course has easily paid for itself. Full disclosure: I was invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacture to my BOSS batch mates, which I also thoroughly enjoyed doing. I declined any remuneration for this, although it was offered.
    Dr Shammi Moopen, Dentist VIC
  • Since I have joined the postgraduate diploma in orthodontics I have noticed all the applied practical learning/knowledge on my patients and I am only half way through the year. Dr Vandana is a genuine educator. She goes way beyond to simplify every lecture and I really like her evidence based information and that is available for us 24/7. Her webinars helped a lot for busy dentists and loved the feedback we get in the one on one sessions with our cases. It make us think every step of the way. But the best thing I like is to see she is giving back to the community and her association with Smile Train in helping children with cleft palate is just beyond words. Thank you so much for being nice and approachable.

    Dr Claudia Braybon, Dentist NSW
  • Received my Diploma in Digital Orthodontics from BOSS and couldn’t be more stoked! Huge shout out to Dr Vandana Katyal and the BOSS team for a wonderful year. I would recommend BOSS to every dentist no matter their level of experience with Orthodontics and clear aligners. Starting off with barely any orthodontic experience, I have commenced about 9 cases in the matter of months and BOSS gave me the confidence to predictably deliver results for my patients through clear aligners which are the future of modern orthodontics.
    Dr Sarang Sathe, Dentist NSW
  • I chose Boss’s clear aligner diploma because I wanted to know the latest evidence based practice to enhance my treatment planning and case execution. I now have a much better understanding of how to diagnose, what movements can be done and what will get me into trouble. The flexible nature of the course delivery also fit perfectly into full time work and my otherwise packed schedule. The monthly case presentation webinars are also great to not only get feedback from Dr Katyal, but also to validate your own thoughts self-assess and see how you are tracking with your learning.

    Dr Gregory Nguyễn, Dentist NSW

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