Graduate Program in Orthodontics


The Department of Orthodontics at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry is committed to the concept of excellence in Graduate Orthodontic Education. The achievement of excellence demands, in part, a balanced program consisting of advanced instruction in diagnosis and treatment planning, clinical treatment, and the psychological and biological aspects of human growth and development. The fulfillment of such a concept also demands a dynamic and dedicated faculty, as well as a variety of active affiliations with medical and dental diagnostic and treatment centers in the Metropolitan Detroit area.

It is our belief that the development of scientific attitudes, of inquiring minds, and of professional curiosity is every bit as important as the development of technical skill and craftsmanship. Put differently, we are dedicated to the task of producing not only a competent orthodontic specialist, but also a professional person--professional in every sense of the word.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Director of Graduate Orthodontics

Riyad Al-Qawasmi B.D.S., M.S.D., FRCDC, Ph.D.

Clinical and Research Affiliations

The Department maintains a number of active affiliations with neighboring institutions in order to provide a broader scope and more in-depth exposure to both clinical and research procedures.


For example, the department maintains active affiliations with Beaumont Hospitals. The affiliation with those hospitals provides exposure in the treatment of orthognathic surgery patients as well as the facilities that provide this type of treatment. The affiliation with Beaumont also provides in-depth exposure in diagnosis and treatment for patients with facial anomalies, including cleft lip and palate.


A number of student research projects have been conducted in jointly with various divisions within the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Some research projects are conducted in collaboration with private practices of alumni and other experts.


In addition to the clinical and research experiences outlined above, graduate students participate in Department presentations and scientific exhibits at a number of regional and national orthodontic meetings such as those held by the Great Lakes Society of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists.


The Orthodontic Clinic Experience

Clinical Teaching

The Graduate Orthodontic Clinic is in operation five days every week. During this time, five separate and distinct "Clinical Teaching Teams", functioning one-half day each week, instruct the graduate students in variously modified approaches to treatment utilizing the edgewise mechanism. The students also spend approximately four half- days each week in Specialty Clinics, staffed by additional "Teaching Teams": the Mixed Dentition and TMJ (semesters 1-4 only) clinics operate on a weekly basis. While the Invisalign, Orthognathic Surgery and Ortho-Perio clinics operate on a bi-weekly basis. The Advanced Orthodontic Clinics meet one-half day per week in the second year.

Immediate Hand-on Experience

Since it is the philosophy of the Department of Orthodontics to expose the student to as many varied clinical experiences as is both possible and practical, his or her clinical exposure is both extensive and immediate. Almost immediately after his or her arrival into the Program, each student begins treatment for approximately 35 patients in need of comprehensive therapy. In the first year he or she will have also begun treatment for approximately three Orthognathic Surgery cases, ten Mixed Dentition cases, and three-five TMJ cases. Therefore, each student will be directly exposed to and responsible for the treatment of about 53 active treatment patients during the first year of the training program. In addition, approximately 25 transfer patients and 55 retention patients will be assigned in the second year. These patients are carefully screened and selected from the many orthodontic examinations that are conducted each year.