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Two people from the Orthodontics Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, discussed results while looking at a computer monitor.

The program includes one-on-one interaction with each of Mayo Clinic's two orthodontic consultants on a rotating basis. This schedule ensures patient care continuity by having the same consultant/resident pair available for the patients' monthly visits. Together you will see new patients, handle diagnosis and treatment planning, review pretreatment and post-treatment patient records and participate in direct patient care.

Clinical training

Mayo Clinic's clinical orthodontics training is primarily in the edgewise technique and its variations. Your rotations will give you extensive experience in:

  • Oral diagnosis/facial pain
  • Oral radiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Plastic surgery
  • Speech pathology
  • Surgical orthodontics

The following is a typical rotation schedule for Mayo Clinic's orthodontics residents:

First year

Rotation Length
Orthodontic technique lab 6 weeks
Oral radiology 2 weeks
Clinical orthodontics 33 weeks

Second year

Rotation Length
Clinical orthodontics 49 weeks

Third year

Rotation Length
Electives (speech pathology, plastic surgery, otorhinolaryngology) 0-6 weeks
Clinical orthodontics 43-49 weeks
Speech therapy 0-2 weeks

Rotation descriptions

Orthodontic technique lab

This self-paced program will help you become familiar with basic clinical orthodontic skills. You will learn laboratory procedures such as wire bending, soldering, welding, banding, bonding, and the fabrication of many fixed and removable appliances. After completing this course, you will be ready to perform these procedures in a clinical setting.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

You will gain experience in hospital surgery, outpatient care, clinical diagnosis, and treatment planning, and the laboratory procedures associated with surgical orthodontics. This rotation includes both clinical and classroom experiences.

Didactic training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups and one-on-one instruction are all an integral part of Mayo Clinic's Orthodontics Residency Program.

During your residency you will complete courses in:

  • Biomechanics
  • Biostatistics
  • Clinical pathology
  • Craniomandibular disorders
  • Growth and development
  • Head and neck anatomy

Throughout your residency you will attend three weekly seminars:

  • Orthodontic technique/topics seminar: This seminar will present information relating to technical procedures, as well as provide the resident with a working knowledge in related dental and medical specialties. The technique portion begins with a basic edgewise technique and progresses through a wide variety of orthodontic approaches.
  • Literature review seminar: In this seminar you will review current orthodontic literature and other major dental journals for pertinent articles.
  • Case presentation seminar: These seminars give residents a forum for the review of challenging new or completed cases that illustrate particular clinical problems and their solutions.

You also will attend a weekly surgical orthodontic conference with the oral and maxillofacial surgery staff and residents, and a Craniofacial Conference with members of a multidisciplinary team.

Case studies

Throughout this program, you will prepare patient presentations for multidisciplinary discussion throughout your residency program. In addition, you will participate in the Craniofacial Conference, where complex dentofacial deformity patients are evaluated and their coordinated treatment is planned with specialists from plastic surgery, otolaryngology, medical genetics, speech pathology, psychology, and social services.

Teaching opportunities

You may have the opportunity to teach Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students and visiting students from other medical and dental schools through chair-side instruction and seminars.

Research training

You will have research requirements during all three years of training. You will begin by conducting a literature review to identify an appropriate research topic. After your protocol has been developed and approved, you may rearrange your clinical schedule to assure you have enough time to complete your research project.

You must complete a comprehensive written examination and a written thesis. When your thesis is accepted, you will take a final oral examination to complete the requirements for the master's degree in biomedical sciences.

The following is a typical general research schedule:

First year

Research timeline Length
Topic selection/literature review 25 weeks
Research protocol development 24 weeks

Second year

Research timeline Length
Data collection/analysis 49 weeks

Third year

Research timeline Length
Data collection/analysis 24 weeks
Thesis writing/defense 25 weeks


After each quarter you will take written and oral examinations to review your progress. These examinations will be supplemented by term papers assigned by the orthodontics program staff throughout your residency.