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Orthodontics is one of seven academic disciplines within the Department of Oral Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry. It has a long tradition of excellence as the only academic provider of education in orthodontics in New Zealand.

Our People in Orthodontics

Research in Orthodontics

The high quality of research produced by the Discipline of Orthodontics at Otago is internationally regarded. Areas of research strength include: craniofacial biomechanics, mechanobiology of the periodontal ligament, randomized controlled trials for growth modification treatments, biomechanics of closing loops, sleep studies, obstructive apnea, and clinical oral physiology, including the function of the masticatory muscles and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Important emerging lines of research include craniofacial genetics, carried out in conjunction with Genetics Otago, and craniofacial imaging in conjunction with the Department of Computer Sciences.

Research projects are generally carried out in collaboration with internal and external research groups with multiple supervisors, who provide differing areas of expertise. Examples of local collaboration within the University of Otago include the Sir John Walsh Research Institute; Department of Psychology; Department of Medicine; Department of Economics; and the School of Physiotherapy.

International collaborations involve the Department of Orthodontics and Clinical Gnathology, University of Naples Federico II; the Department of Odontology, University of Copenhagen; Laboratory for Biomechanics, University of Zurich; and the Institute of Surgical Technology and Biomechanics, University of Bern.

Postgraduate Study in Orthodontics

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.
You can apply for admission to the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry programme here.

Contact Orthodontics


Postal address

Department of Oral Sciences
Faculty of Dentistry
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

Physical address

Department of Oral Sciences
Faculty of Dentistry
310 Great King Street
North Dunedin
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand

Postgraduate study in Orthodontics

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