Graduate Program in Orthodontics



The Graduate Orthodontics Program 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 and long-term self-learner.

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

For further information, please contact us.

Director of Admissions
Steven Chang, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Orthodontics
Riyad Al-Qawasmi B.D.S., M.S.D., FRCDC, Ph.D.

Administrative Coordinator
Questions Contact
Ms. Lisa Wyrick


Clinical and Research Affiliations

The Program 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.



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 Program presentations and scientific exhibits at a number of regional and national orthodontic meetings such as those held by the Great Lakes Association 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 clinic operates on a weekly basis. While the Clear Aligners, Orthognathic Surgery, TMJ (semesters 1-4 only), and Ortho-Perio clinics operate on a bi-weekly basis. The Advanced Orthodontic Clinic meets one-half day per week in the second year.

Immediate Hand-on Experience

Since it is the philosophy of the Graduate Orthodontics Program 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, eight Clear Aligner cases, and three-five TMJ cases. Therefore, each student will be directly exposed to and responsible for the treatment of about 60 active treatment patients during the first year of the training program. In addition, approximately 25 transfer patients and 55 retention patients will be assigned to the rising the second year residents. These patients are carefully screened and selected from the many orthodontic examinations that are conducted each year.