Fixing the problem of predoctoral orthodontic education
Congratulations on the superb editorial in the May 2013 issue of the AJO-DO concerning predoctoral orthodontic education. It is spot-on, and it effectively describes the curriculum that I have developed and delivered for the past 17 years!
|May 2013; 143(5):595|
I frequently describe the orthodontist and general dentist as being team members in terms of diagnostic and restorative decision-making and treatment. I have several pertinent lectures specifically describing "smile design" and the protocols that the restorative dentist/prosthodontist follow, and I emphasize how these criteria and diagnostic parameters mirror those found in orthodontic literature and practice. In my predoctoral orthodontic lectures, I draw upon my own clinical orthodontic cases, since a significant number of them have been multidisciplinary in nature, and I complement these lectures with my experience as a general dentist, curriculum director in temporomandibular disorders, as well as occlusion, instructor in fixed prosthodontics, and my fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry. My undergraduates and the AEGD and GPR residents to whom I lecture receive a strong curriculum in everything from the biology of tooth movement and growth and development to comprehensive orthodontic records, including ABO-quality casts, cephalometric tracings and interpretation, advanced Bolton tooth size (and shape) discrepancy analysis, and limited tooth movement, including anterior alignment and molar uprighting. The students are also exposed to a comprehensive laboratory experience beginning with wire bending, advancing to the fabrication of a Hawley appliance, and ending with a "clinical case problem" in which a retainer is not adequately stabilizing several teeth and the student must solder an auxiliary stabilization wire to the existing Hawley in order to satisfy the "patient's" chief complaint. All of these experiences have been and will continue to be complemented by the predocs providing limited orthodontic treatment to patients as a part of their 3rd year clinical “experience."
It is the general opinion of the students as well as participating faculty that this program clearly meets the needs of our students as well as patients, and greatly benefits both in the short and long terms.
I apologize for the thesis, but it is so refreshing to see someone as respected as the Editor-in-Chief of the AJO-DO declare that this sort of predoctoral orthodontic curriculum is appropriate, valuable, and certainly capable of "…fix(ing) the problem with predoctoral orthodontic education."
With sincerest and best personal regards,
East Carolina University
East Carolina University