Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics program goals

  1. Students will receive coursework in biomedical sciences intended to provide the knowledge required to practice orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, as defined by the program's proficiency standards.
  2. Students will receive a clinical experience that is varied and demanding, and that will prepare them for the clinical practice of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, with emphasis on bioprogressive principles.
  3. Students will perform research that provides them with experience involving problem-solving, critical thinking, research methodology, and scientific writing.
  4. Students will be exposed to and participate in a teaching experience.
  5. Students will be exposed to professional venues that encourage continued professional growth.

All of the above goals are designed to prepare students for a specialty practice in orthodontics or for pursuing a teaching career. The content of the program conforms to the standards developed by the specialty board, and graduates are educationally qualified for certification by the American Board of Orthodontics.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Develop technical competence in orthodontics.
  2. Correlate basic natural sciences with the practice of orthodontics.
  3. Demonstrate analytical thinking.
  4. Perform clinical research.
  5. Demonstrate responsibility toward the patient and the community.
  6. Contribute to the growth and stature of the profession.
  7. Collaborate with individuals in other allied professional disciplines.

The master's degree curriculum requires a minimum of 27 months in residence, beginning in late June. Additional time may be required, depending on the research selected.

Program link: https://dentistry.llu.edu/admissions/advanced-dental-education-programs

Candidates apply for admission to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree program and also have the option of applying later for a certificate.

All applicants must meet the admission requirements of Loma Linda University. 

This program does not participate in the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), which allows applicants to apply to multiple participating institutions or the MATCH program. 

Application deadline

All applications for admission should be submitted to the school by August 1 of the year prior to the summer of intended enrollment.

Tuition, fees, and other cost-of-attendance items are located on the Find a Program webpage.

ORDN 524Introduction to Graduate Orthodontics12
ORDN 524LIntroduction to Graduate Orthodontics Laboratory6
ORDN 525Materials Science and Mechanics2
ORDN 526Applied Anatomy2
ORDN 527Clinical Photography1
ORDN 535Advanced Cephalometrics2
ORDN 536Concepts of Physical Anthropology2
ORDN 545Growth and Development3
ORDN 546Fundamentals of Occlusion2
ORDN 571Diagnosis and Treatment Planning I2
ORDN 574Diagnosis and Treatment Planning II2
ORDN 584Current Orthodontics Literature I2
ORDN 591Current Orthodontics Literature II2
ORDN 597Orthognathic Surgery Theory and Literature Review2
ORDN 604Seminar in Orthodontics1
ORDN 605Advanced Seminar in Orthodontics (1)2
ORDN 606Craniofacial Genetics2
ORDN 608Speech, Language, Breathing, and Orofacial Myofunction1
ORDN 634Orthodontics Clinical Conference2
ORDN 635Finishing Mechanics I2
ORDN 636Finishing Mechanics II1
ORDN 654Practice Teaching in Orthodontics4
ORDN 655Temporomandibular Function and Dysfunction2
ORDN 657Orthodontic Board Preparation6
ORDN 697AResearch1
ORDN 697BResearch1
ORDN 698Thesis3
GRDN 514Introduction to Biomedical Research4
GRDN 601Practice Management2
GRDN 609Professional Ethics 22
GRDN 623Biomedical Science II5
OMFS 608Surgical Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Conference (0.5)2
OMFS 616Application of Surgical Principles to Orthognathic Surgery1
REL 5Graduate-level Religion3
Total Units89
Clinical 1
ORDN 725Clinical Practice in Orthodontics (7)56
Total Units56

Units for clinic practice courses are in addition to the minimum didactic units required for the degree.


Fulfills service learning requirement.

Normal time to complete the program

2.25 years (27 months) — full-time enrollment required


V. Leroy Leggitt

Program director

Toufic Jeiroudi


Joseph M. Caruso

James R. Farrage

Gabriela E. Garcia

Roland D. Neufeld

Kitichai Rungcharassaeng

R. David Rynearson


ORDN 524. Introduction to Graduate Orthodontics. 12 Units.

Lecture course outlining the principles of applied design, the application of forces to produce tooth movement, and the tissue response to such forces. Overview of orthodontics to prepare the student for clinical practice of orthodontics diagnosis and treatment planning, including cephalometrics, growth forecasting, and preparation of visual treatment objectives.

ORDN 524L. Introduction to Graduate Orthodontics Laboratory. 6 Units.

Selected laboratory projects to enhance the didactic portion of the course.

ORDN 525. Materials Science and Mechanics. 2 Units.

Structure and properties of materials used in orthodontics. Analyzes the effects of mechanical and heat treatment. Surveys strength and mechanics in force-delivery systems.

ORDN 526. Applied Anatomy. 2 Units.

Fundamentals of anatomy as applied to a special region or application.

ORDN 527. Clinical Photography. 1 Unit.

Clinical proficiency in intraoral and extraoral photography. Discusses and uses photographic equipment and techniques on orthodontic patients. Camera, lens, and flash required.

ORDN 535. Advanced Cephalometrics. 2 Units.

Studies cephalometrics from a historical perspective to the present time, including most of the major analyses.

ORDN 536. Concepts of Physical Anthropology. 2 Units.

Basic and classic concepts of physical anthropology as they relate to orthodontics.

ORDN 545. Growth and Development. 3 Units.

Principles of growth and development from the subcellular to the tissue level. Emphasizes myogenesis and osteogenesis. Prenatal and postnatal development of the face and jaws, including the classic concepts of facial growth. Considers general growth, with the goal of developing ability to recognize abnormal signs, observe variations, diagnose pathological conditions, know the normal, predict height, and use various standards to assess growth and development.

ORDN 546. Fundamentals of Occlusion. 2 Units.

The development of the human face and dentition. A concept of dynamic functioning occlusion.

ORDN 571. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning I. 2 Units.

Student diagnoses and treats assigned patients.

ORDN 574. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning II. 2 Units.

Continues ORDN 571, with follow-up of clinical cases with progress records.

ORDN 584. Current Orthodontics Literature I. 2 Units.

Presents current papers in various subspecialties of orthodontics.

ORDN 591. Current Orthodontics Literature II. 2 Units.

Presents current papers in various subspecialties of orthodontics.

ORDN 597. Orthognathic Surgery Theory and Literature Review. 2 Units.

Presents current papers in various subspecialties of orthodontics, with primary emphasis on surgical orthodontics. Presents cases with various problems requiring surgery.

ORDN 604. Seminar in Orthodontics. 1 Unit.

Critically reviews suggested etiological factors of malocclusion. Problems of diagnosis and the rationale of various treatment philosophies. Liberally uses current literature. Discussion by guest lecturers with demonstrated competence in the field.

ORDN 605. Advanced Seminar in Orthodontics. 1 Unit.

Second-year seminar. Design of clinical diagnosis and practice management. Repeated registrations to fulfill the total units required.

ORDN 606. Craniofacial Genetics. 2 Units.

Basic genetics. Introduces craniofacial clinic.

ORDN 608. Speech, Language, Breathing, and Orofacial Myofunction. 1 Unit.

Studies areas related to speech, language, breathing, and behavior affecting the orofacial complex and occlusion.

ORDN 634. Orthodontics Clinical Conference. 2 Units.

Students prepare and present diagnosis, case analysis, and treatment plan—with primary emphasis on difficult and unusual cases.

ORDN 635. Finishing Mechanics I. 2 Units.

Orthodontic treatment modalities, emphasizing finishing mechanics for the patient.

ORDN 636. Finishing Mechanics II. 1 Unit.

A seminar course created for first-year graduate orthodontic students, exposing them to alternate treatment philosophies and modalities. Guest orthodontists present the main portion of the course and demonstrate their treatment concepts in finishing orthodontic cases.

ORDN 654. Practice Teaching in Orthodontics. 1-4 Units.

Students gain experience in teaching clinical orthodontics to predoctoral dental students. Repeated registrations to fulfill the total units required.

ORDN 655. Temporomandibular Function and Dysfunction. 2 Units.

The temporomandibular joint and dysfunction in health and disease. Diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment of the temporomandibular joint, emphasizing the integration of orthodontics and temporomandibular joint treatment.

ORDN 657. Orthodontic Board Preparation. 1-6 Units.

Student presents completed orthodontic cases to faculty and other students. Prepares for the American Board of Orthodontics. Repeated registrations required to fulfill the total units required.

ORDN 697A. Research. 1 Unit.

Student identifies a research project, prepares a proposal, and obtains approval for the protocol.

ORDN 697B. Research. 1-4 Units.

Conducting the actual research project, including the data collection. Multiple registrations may be needed to complete these research activities.

ORDN 698. Thesis. 3 Units.

ORDN 725. Clinical Practice in Orthodontics. 7 Units.

Diagnosis and treatment of assigned patients, including adults. Repeated registrations to fulfill the total units/clock hours required.

ORDN 801. Minor Tooth Movement. 2 Units.

Lecture, laboratory demonstration, and clinical exercise prepares students to diagnose and treat limited clinical problems. Applies theory. Minor tooth movement.

ORDN 811. Principles of Orthodontics II. 1 Unit.

Biophysical principles. Removable and fixed orthodontic appliances, adult orthodontics, surgical orthodontics. Treatment planning. Interaction with other disciplines. National Board Examination preparation. Selected topics in orthodontics.