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July 2014 – May 2015
The Orthodontic Preceptorship Program is a nine month non-degree course of study offered by the Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. This program is offered to domestic and international applicants who have graduated from dental schools. A non-academic certificate is awarded to the participant upon successful completion of this program. This Preceptorship can be up to three students per year, dependent upon the applicant’s professional credentials and clinical space available. Applicants are expected to demonstrate educational interest and aptitude in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.
The Orthodontic Preceptorship Program is specifically designed for dental graduates who would like to expand their knowledge in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Applicants must demonstrate a strong desire to learn state-of-the-art techniques, investigate current scientific literature and familiarize themselves with a broad range of orthodontic procedures including orthognathic surgery to provide a foundation for pursuing advanced training in an accredited graduate orthodontic program. Acceptance into the WVU Orthodontic Preceptorship Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Orthodontic Master of Science Graduate Program.  However, the knowledge and skill gained in the 9-month program may enhance a student’s application to any graduate orthodontic program.  Preceptors are expected to attend all the orthodontic seminars together with other graduate students. Preceptors will co-treat patients assigned to graduate students.  Although emphasis is placed on the clinical aspects of Orthodontics, preceptors are strongly encouraged to participate in scholarly activities.
The participant will be able to apply these skills for additional training in an Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics.
By the completion of this Preceptorship program, the participant should be able to:
  • Gather medical and dental history data, proper clinical and orthodontic information.
  • Take orthodontic records to include clinical examination of patients, impressions for study models, mount study models, intra- and extra-oral photographs, and appropriate radiographs for proper case presentation.
  • Make orthodontic diagnosis based on pertinent historical, clinical and radiographic information, and to arrive at reasonable orthodontic treatment plans.
  • Be proficient in using the Six Elements Treatment Philosophy™ in diagnosis and treatment plan for orthodontic cases.
  • Trace and analyze ceph radiographs using hand tracing and computer digitization, become proficient in various orthodontic cephalometric analyzes such as the Downs, Steiner, Jarabek, McNamara, and the Sassouni analysis.
  • Fabricate a variety of orthodontic appliances including RPE appliances (banded/bonded/Haas),  TPA, LLHA, Hawley retainers, Essix retainers, splints, and mouthguards
  • Place orthodontic appliances such as bonding of orthodontic brackets, fitting and cementing orthodontic bands, etch and bond brackets, insertion and removal of archwires, placement of Alastiks and ligation of wires to brackets.
  • Master the technique of indirect bonding including IDB impressions, placement of brackets on models and making of indirect bonding trays.
  • Perform archwire adjustments including forming archwires to the WALA ridge.
  • Debond/deband of orthodontic appliances, cleaning of adhesives and cements on teeth, impressions for Essix/Hawleys retainers, fabrication of Essix, Hawley or bond fixed retainers.
  • Take final orthodontic records including examination prior to debonding, impressions for study models, mount and scan models, intra- and extra-oral photographs, and appropriate radiographs.
  • Perform superimposition of pre- and post-treatment radiographs.
  • Explain and be clinically familiar with a variety of non-surgical and surgical orthodontic procedures.
  • Assess the outcomes of non-surgical and surgical orthodontic treatment.
  • Investigate current and classic orthodontic and dental literature, with a developing ability to critically review pertinent articles.
The proficient and dedicated preceptor student may be able to assist all residents in a variety of procedures including screening, records, consultation, diagnosis, appliance placement, adjustments, debonding, retainer fabrication, and final records.  All clinical procedures will be allowed based on clinical instructor monitoring, student ability to demonstrate the knowledge and skill to proceed with proper patient treatment and patient availability.  Graduate students in orthodontics will be given priority relative to patients and procedures.

The participant in this program will be evaluated on the basis of the following outcomes: 1. Overall number of cases properly diagnosed, treated and managed;
2. Clinical performance during clinical examination, records, adjustment, debonding, and final records including appliance fabrication;
3. Scope of knowledge and preparedness demonstrated;
4. Patient management skills displayed; and
5. Teaching ability as demonstrated by teaching in the classroom and clinic
Admission to the Orthodontic Preceptor Residency Program is competitive. Prior to enrollment, the applicant must hold a DDS or DMD from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and possess a West Virginia dental license.  The successful candidate must demonstrate outstanding communication abilities, both written and oral, in the English language.  Applicants who have completed an advanced dental program in the United States, but from countries where English is not the native language, are exempt from the TOEFL examination. 
Criteria to evaluate candidates include:
  • Letter of interest and career goals
  • Dental school transcripts
  • Recommendations from three dental faculty
  • Personal interview which includes onsite composed essay
  • Proficiency in the English language, both written and spoken
  • Congruence between the applicant’s skills and abilities
The applicant’s didactic; laboratory and clinical performance in Orthodontic courses will be closely evaluated. 
Application Requirements, Deadline and Fee
Application deadline is March 28th of each year. This is subject to extension based on the application pool.  Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the WVU SoD website or contact the program director to confirm current deadlines.
An application fee to West Virginia University as a non-degree graduate student is required and must accompany the application. 
The following information is required for a complete application:
  • A current resume with photograph
  • Letter of interest describing applicant’s strengths, accomplishments, and career goals
  • Official dental school transcript
  • Three letters of reference from dental faculty who can address the applicant’s:
a)         clinical skills in dentistry
b)         communication skills (written and oral)
c)         interpersonal skills
d)         maturity          
e)         likelihood of success in the OPRP
Personal Interview
Candidates who receive favorable review of the aforementioned application materials must participate in a personal interview before the WVU Department of Orthdontics Admissions Committee.
Criminal Background Check
Prior to commencing the OPRP, students must obtain criminal background clearance.  The background check is conducted by a screening agency designated by the West Virginia University School of Dentistry (WVU SoD). [Detailed information is available on the WVU SoD website] The CBI is at the applicants’ personal expense.
Conditions Following Offer of Admission
Individuals admitted to the 9-month OPRP must comply with all regulations and standards established by the WVU SoD, WVU, and WVU Board of Governors. 
All enrollees must comply with the immunization and diagnostic procedures required by the WVU Board of Governors, WVU University, the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and/or the School of Dentistry. Proof of immunizations must be submitted prior to commencement of program.
Participants in the Orthodontic Preceptorship Program will have extensive training in the Department of Orthodontics clinical facilities. Participants will be required to contribute to the undergraduate dental education experience by mentoring predoctoral students and by providing orthodontic procedures to their patients, faculty members of the Department of Orthodontics will supervise all the patients requiring orthodontic procedures.
The preceptor also has access to the Health Science Center's Library with its excellent collection of books, scientific publications, audiovisual materials and computer resources.  In addition, the preceptor will have to access to the on-line orthodontic journals.
The tuition for this program is based on credit hours for each semester (Summer – 6; Fall – 9 and Spring – 9) and the student’s residency status (Resident approx. $12,308; Non-Resident approx. $32,940).  An additional dental school fee of $6,500.00 will be assessed for instruments, textbooks, use of equipment, library, and computer services.
Professional travel must be authorized by Director of the preceptor program and approved by the WVU School of Dentistry.
Recommended orthodontic textbooks                                                       $    500.00
Orthodontic laboratory instruments                                                           $  1500.00
Clinic camera                                                                                             $  2000.00
Professional travel for annual meetings, fees and registrations                    $  2500.00                
Total                                                                                                          $  6500.00
Tuition and fees do not include housing and any other personal expenses incurred by the preceptor.
The application and instructions are available at.

Official academic transcripts must be submitted directly to:
WVU Admissions Office
One Waterfront Place
PO Box 6009
Morgantown, WV 26506-6009