Postgraduate education and training in Orthodontics at the University of Otago consists of an advanced and intense three-year programme that includes significant clinical and research components, the successful completion of which leads to the award of a Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (Orthodontics), and registration as a specialist in Orthodontics in New Zealand and Australia.
The aim of the programme is to educate and train highly qualified orthodontists who are able to manage a large variety of clinical problems including craniofacial syndromes, surgical cases, and complex multidisciplinary cases. During their programme, students have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with many different orthodontic concepts, philosophies and treatment techniques including: straight wire, low-friction, segmented arch, and lingual mechanics, along with clear sequential aligners, and various functional appliances.
Students are required to complete at least 60 cases in addition to patients transferred from previous students. Experienced tutors supervise clinical management from the formulation of the treatment plan to the final removal of appliances and retention regime. Complete clinical records of eight orthodontic cases must be submitted for the final year examination. Students are strongly encouraged to strive for the highest standard of clinical care and to apply for admission to the Australasian Board of Orthodontics from the beginning of their postgraduate course in order to gain recognition from their peers. Entry to other institutional Orthodontics Boards and Colleges is also encouraged.
During the programme the students are continuously exposed to theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding via lectures, courses, tutorials, and laboratory work. The programme is further enhanced by many interdisciplinary seminars and extra-curricular conferences and courses given by visiting lecturers.
As part of the core assessment, students are required to carry out an original research project, and to submit a thesis, which is assessed by internal and external examiners. It is expected that the research will be suitable for publication in a national or international refereed journal, and that the students will present their findings at a Meeting of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists.
The Discipline of Orthodontics at Otago selects only a few students every year to provide an interactive learning environment in which students have access to experienced staff members and study with like-minded colleagues as part of a team approach.
The form for applying to the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry programme can be downloaded directly from the Faculty web site.