Penn Dental Medicine

Academic Programs & Admissions

Graduate Dental Education Programs » Orthodontic Program

Program Director: Dr. Chun-Hsi Chung, contact

Program Overview

The postgraduate program in orthodontics integrates basic science and clinical orthodontics in a comprehensive curriculum, designed to develop clinically proficient specialists who possess a scholarly insight into orthodontic theory as it relates to patient care. While the basic science courses build upon residents’ predoctoral knowledge of oral biology and related areas, the major part of the program consists of clinical education and training.

Several popular corrective orthodontic regimens are taught, giving residents a thorough understanding of the respective merits of each treatment philosophy and the ability to apply them clinically. Since many corrective orthodontic problems involve adolescents, there is a strong emphasis on growth and development. Residents also gain experience in preventive and interceptive orthodontic care with pre-adolescents. The management of adult patients is also emphasized through courses such as TMJ therapy and orthognathic surgery. Other highlights of the program include:
  • Experience in the interdisciplinary care of patients requiring complex restorative dentistry or advanced periodontal therapy
  • Participation in rotations at the Craniofacial Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, exposing residents to craniofacial anomalies and treatment and the team approach involved in treating such conditions.
  • Instruction in computer applications for diagnosis, treatment planning, and practice management.
  • Presentation of a course in gross anatomy of the head and neck. Students undergo a 2-hour wet dissection with special emphasis devoted to the temporomandibular joint and its associated structures.

In addition, each resident must complete an investigative project for certification.

The highly respected research environment at Penn Dental Medicine and throughout the University of Pennsylvania provides a valuable opportunity for students applying to residency programs to combine their specialty training with advanced research and academic opportunities. To that end, Penn Dental Medicine offers a Master of Science in Oral Biology (MSOB) and a Doctor of Science in Dentistry (DScD) that can be earned concurrent with a specialty certificate, preparing students to successfully enter the field of academic dentistry while also becoming skilled clinicians in specialty care. Through the MSOB and DScD programs, students are encouraged to pursue their individual research interests with projects that can span the diverse disciplines and research labs within Penn Dental Medicine’s basic and clinical sciences and across the University.

Academic Track: MSOB and certificate (3 years), DScD and certificate (5 years)
Clinical Certificate Track: certificate only (26 months)
Number of residents accepted: 8 per year

Clinical Education

All clinical practice for residents takes place in Penn Dental Medicine’s Brainerd F. Swain Orthodontic Clinic, a modern state-of-the-art facility that features 23 operatories. In addition, second-year residents participate in two rotations at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in craniofacial and cleft palate.

Admissions Process

Application Deadline: September 1 — See Graduate Dental Education Programs Admissions Requirements and Procedures for detailed information and instructions.

An applicant to be considered for admissions to the Orthodontics Residency Program requires:

All application materials will be reviewed by the Orthodontic Program Admissions Committee. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Decisions to interview applicants will be made by the Committee and such decisions will be communicated to applicants directly from the Orthodontic Department. Qualified candidates are selected for an interview based upon the following criteria, but not limited to: past academic performance, class standing, motivation and interest, personal and career goals, experiences beyond pre-doctoral education, evidence of scholarly activity, letters of recommendation.

Although the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score is not a requirement for admission, GRE scores will be accepted for those applying to the Orthodontics Program. Please use the GRE Designated Institution (DI) Code Number 6962 and indicate Penn Dental Medicine as the official score recipient to submit score reports.

A personal interview is required as part of the selection process. Selected applicants are invited to interview at Penn Dental Medicine on a single day in October or early November. Interview invitations will be sent via email shortly after the application deadline. Travel and lodging information will be sent to you via email from the administrative staff of the Orthodontic Department. The interview day will consist of either a morning session or afternoon session. All candidates will have breakfast or lunch with faculty, residents and other invited candidates followed by individual interviews with department faculty, and a tour of the facilities.

Official letters of acceptance are sent within 10 days of the release of Match results from Penn Dental Medicine’s Office of Graduate Dental Education. All admitted candidates are obligated to submit a non-refundable acceptance deposit in the amount of $1,000 within ten business days of acceptance notification from Penn Dental Medicine. The Office of Graduate Dental Education provides assistance to coordinate pre-enrollment activities such as establishing a PennKey for access to the University’s online resources, establishing a university email address, and initiating the visa process for international students.

Program Faculty

Program Director

Full-Time Faculty

Part-Time Faculty

  • Guoqiang Guan, DDS, PhD

    Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthodontics

  • Nipul K. Tanna, DMD, MS

    Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthodontics
    Director, Postdoctoral Periodontics/Orthodontics Program

The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030