School of Dental Medicine of University of Connecticut

best orthodontist schoolsThe School of Dental Medicine was established in 1968 and it is the only public school of dentistry in New England. Since its establishment the institution has provided a great variety of dental specializations and has constantly worked to improve the curriculum in order to offer up to date information to its students. Nowadays, the School of Dental Medicine of University of Connecticut has 8 accredited advanced training/specialty programs and 1,567 D.M.D. alumni in 2013.

Over 50% of the dentists and dental professionals practicing in Connecticut were students at the School of Dental Medicine and over 65% of the UConn dentistry school practice in dental offices located in-state or in the tri-state area (New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts).

About the School of Dental Medicine

School of Dental Medicine is one of the most reputed dental institutions in the US and was ranked 1st by National Board Dental Examiners in a 2001 chart based on the students’ votes. The School of Dental Medicine is part of the UConn Health Center and is located on a 206-acre property along with the School of Medicine, Graduate School, John Dempsey Hospital, UConn Health Partners and University Dentists and UConn Medical Group.

The institution has 130 onside treatment rooms where students can assist teachers and perform treatments in order to sharpen their skills. Other two clinics for pediatric dentistry and one clinic for comprehensive dentistry are available for further practice. The classrooms are recently renovated for maximum comfort, while the regional biomedical library offers up-to-date resources for maximum efficiency learning. The student work suite has been renovated in 2013 and, like all other work and study areas, it features state of the art teaching technology and support.

The School of Dental Medicine is guided by the principle of quality and patients and students alike are treated with respect and attention. The school promotes the concept of wellness in dental care and advocates for disease prevention and health preservation. The students are taught how to become competent professionals, able to provide the necessary oral care for local patients as well as for national-wide residents.

The school offers different types of programs for students willing to have a career in the dental field. The programs are grouped into three main categories:

  • Predoctoral Program – this program enrolls college graduates interested in dental practice. New England residents as well as non-residents are encouraged to apply. Diversity is much cherished at the University of Connecticut, therefore the students attending the School of Dental Medicine have diversified backgrounds and come from various colleges. The school offers good living and studying conditions so that the learning process is as smooth as possible.

The admission process for the predoctoral program includes the completion of a 4 years college, one year (two semesters) attendance of courses in general chemistry, biology, physics and organic chemistry. The school also recommends taking courses in genetics, cell and molecular biology and biochemistry. The DAT test is compulsory when applying for a program at the School of Dental Medicine. The tuition fee for in-state students is $20,572, for New England students is $30.001, while for out-of-state students is $47,387. The fees are similar for all three categories of students, $8,386. Additional costs for living, equipment and supplies vary according to the year of study and can go up to $38,197.

The program takes four years and the tuition, fees and living expenses are calculated individually for each year.

  • Advanced Education – directed towards the dental school graduates, the advance education programs aim at perfecting general dentists, specialists and dental academicians. The main specializations for which dentists can apply are General Dentistry, D.M.D/Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, Endodontology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Orthodontics, Master of Dental Science, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, Prosthodontics and Skeletal, Craniofacial and Oral Biology.
  • Special Programs – developed to answer students’ needs for continuous education, the special programs are divided into three main categories: programs directed towards prospective students, programs for accepted students who are looking for extra information and specialization and programs for graduate school programs. The duration and tuition of these programs vary in accordance with the specific choice.

All courses are held at the School of Dental Medicine, as well as at locations within the School of Medicine and John Dempsey Hospital, two other institutions part of the UConn Health. The UConn Health Center was founded in 1961 and has over 5000 employees working to ensure the best health care for the local residents.

Orthodontic Programs

Boosting an extensive tradition, modern equipment, highly trained teachers and extensive research opportunities, the Division of Orthodontics at University of Connecticut, School of Dental Medicine is a popular choice among dentists and orthodontists-to-be. The Division of Orthodontics has two specialization programs which dental graduates can choose from.

The first option is the Combined M.Dent.Sc./Certificate Program. The program lasts 36 months and it prepares the students for a practical career in orthodontics. The curriculum includes theoretical as well as practical study, with an emphasis on solving patients’ problems in the most effective way. Research abilities are also developed, but the main focus shifts towards the practical aspects of this career. At the end of the program, graduates are given a certificate in orthodontics as well as a M.Dent.Sc. Degree.

The second orthodontic program is the Combined Ph.D./Certificate Program which can last up to 60 months. The actual duration of the program varies in accordance with student’s skills and level of preparation. The program is developed so as to prepare the students for a career in the academic field (teaching and/or research). The main focus of the program is on research, but the students will also be taught important practical skills for a complete training. In order to have access to this program, students must be a matriculated Ph.D. student in good standing and have a written approval from their advisor and committee. Once the program is completed, graduates receive a certificate in orthodontics and a Ph.D. degree.

Curriculum and Research Opportunities for the Orthodontic Programs

The curriculum for the orthodontic programs is developed on the pattern “problem-solution” and centered on different courses. Among the courses which are taught during these programs, students may find Biostatistics, Biomechanics I and II, Biology of Tooth Movement, Connective Tissue Biology, Craniofacial Anomalies, Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Functional Anatomy, Functional Appliance, Orthodontic Appliances and Surgical Orthodontics.

Students are also given the opportunity to direct their attention towards orthodontic research. The school’s laboratories are well equipped and offer the appropriate support for students interested in biomechanics, cell biology, bone biology, growth and development, muscle physiology, behavioral science and more.

Application Procedure and Documents for Orthodontics Specialization

The applications for both orthodontics programs should be sent before September 15th to PASS (Postdoctoral Application Support Service) and before October 1st on the UConn address in order to be taken into consideration for next year matriculation.

The application must include the completed application form (which is available on their website in pdf form), an up-to-date CV, a 2”x 2” recent photo, the official transcripts of student’s scores from National Dental Board Examination and official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions. The scores from National Dental Board must be sent by the institution directly to Program’s Director in order to be considered. Foreign students must also include the TOEFL score. Optionally, students are invited to take the GRE examination and report the scores for higher chances of being selected.

The application fee is $75 and is paid at the UConn Health Center. Prior to applying for an orthodontics program at the UConn School of Dental Medicine students are required to register to National Matching Service.

Location and contact info

The Division of Orthodontics from the University of Connecticut, School of Dental Medicine is located at 263, Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-1725. For more information on the programs available and for the admission process, students are invited to call 06030-1725 or email any further inquiries at gioiamorelli@uchc.edu (Shelly Gioia – Morelli). The division’s website (http://orthodontics.uchc.edu) can also answer many of students’ questions.