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What to look for in an orthodontic residency program

Vandana KatyalGeneral

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 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
  • Having always steered away from clear aligners and only stuck with fixed braces, I’ve finally decided to give aligners a go this year. BOSS is extremely practical, informative and backed up by heaps of research. Dr. V is a great mentor, she’s always helpful and truthful. The team at BOSS and CCC smiles are just amazing, always there to help you whenever you need, even if it was a question that’s been repetitively asked many many times. I would highly recommend BOSS to anyone who wishes to start their journey in digital orthodontics. With Dr. V and her team behind me, my confidence level is soooo much higher and I feel like I am delivering my treatment to a higher standard and overall making me a better clinician. Thank you Dr. V!!

    Dr Claire Chiu, Dentist QLD
  • I joined BOSS in 2018 for the full year, and the wealth of knowledge that Vandana shares is immeasurable! This course is perfect for absolute beginners and also those with more experience, and Vandana caters it perfectly for the whole group. All her information is evidence based and very relatable for general dentists, giving you information that those “generic” 1-3 day clear aligner courses cannot give you. BOSS is a very comprehensive course. I highly recommend it, I plan to join BOSS again!

    Dr Michelle Sujenie, 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
  • 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
  • Dr Katyal shares so much of her own protocol and is extremely generous not only with her time but with the well thought out information she provides along with the course such as inventory lists, marketing material and case presentation templates. She tailors her advice to your own experience and helps with appropriate case selection, points out possible pitfalls and helps you understand how to overcome them. The course is also up-to-date using the latest technologies in orthodontics and is heavily evidence-based.

    I would recommend it to anyone wanting to start doing some orthodontic treatment or looking for a more comprehensive course to assist in some ortho they are already doing.

    Dr Becky Dudman, Melbourne

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