Orthodontics is a speciality of dentistry that involves dealing with the placement of teeth and the resulting concerns with bites and bite patterns. While dental students get an introduction to the topic, you can focus on orthodontics as a primary concentration of your degree. A few leading dental schools offer the best programs in orthodontics.

University of Michigan School of Dentistry

According to FindTheBest.com, the University of Michigan provides the leading orthodontics program in the country. The Michigan School of Dentistry offers a Master of Science program in orthodontics. The degree is highly competitive, with only seven students admitted annually. In total, the degree takes 35 months to complete. The curriculum is comprehensive and includes classes in everything from Orthognathic Surgery to Principles of Occlusal Development to Neuromuscular Physiology. In addition, you'll spend many credit hours on clinical practice, learning first-hand the principles of orthodontics.

University of California, Los Angeles

According to FindTheBest.com, UCLA comes in second in the list of top orthodontics programs in the nation. At UCLA, you can study orthodontics as a clinical specialty within a broader dentistry degree. This specialty works concurrently with an oral biology MS program at the university. The program at UCLA is world-renowned in part because of the strength of its research. Overseeing millions of dollars in grants, faculty at UCLA are actively researching topics like craniofacial anomalies and tissue engineering.

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University of California, San Francisco

Third on FindTheBest.com's list, the University of California at San Francisco offers a separate certificate program in orthodontics, along with a related MS in oral and craniofacial sciences. You can also study these subjects at the PhD level. The orthodontics education at UCSF is presented through a combinations of lecture, laboratories and patient practice. Students work on children and adults in active clinical practice to correct malocclusions and facial disproportions. Admission to the program requires a DDS degree, as well as official GRE and DAT scores.

University of North Carolina

At the University of North Carolina, which is fourth on FindTheBest.com's rankings, students can become residents in a 33-month program in orthodontics. The program is highly competitive, with only six students accepted for the residency each year. The program consists of a combined certificate and MS program in orthodontics. The program curriculum takes three years to complete, and students must take courses in the summer. Courses vary between seminars, lectures and clinicals. The program is very research intensive, with required classes in biostatistics, biomechanics and research design.

About the Author

Kevin Wandrei has written extensively on higher education. His work has been published with Kaplan, Textbooks.com, and Shmoop, Inc., among others. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Cornell University.