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Does one have to be in the top 10% for Ortho Residency

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by Cheerz, Jun 2, 2011.

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  1. Cheerz


    Jul 3, 2009
    Hello Friends,

    I am a D2 at a reputed institution and have a 3.83 GPA at the end of D2. I do not think I am amongst the top 10% of the class because those students are notified (neither do I have much experience in research etc, but hoping to make up for it in the next year or so)

    I have been developing interest in Orthodontics and wondering if I should even consider Orthodontics as a specialty (right after dental school or returning to school after 3-4 year experience)

    Please advise - Thanks

    P.S: have not taken Part 1 yet.
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  3. senpai

    senpai 7+ Year Member

    May 10, 2010
    To be competitive it would be wise advice IMO to push yourself a little more over this next year to get as close as you can to the top 10%. With a 3.83 you can't be that far away. If you don't quite make it, I wouldn't sweat it. Definetely try to get 90+ on your boards, however. Board score caries a little more weight IMO just because it is something standardized across the entire nation. Good luck!
  4. amalgamator42

    amalgamator42 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    Dude, it all comes down to how bad you want it. The only people I know personally that have gotten into ortho without the typical credentials (top 10%, 90+ part I) are:

    1. Kids of alumni from that program
    2. Students who do research with their dental school's ortho program

    Don't underestimate the other students in your class. You really need to work hard, because there is always someone out there that is willing to work harder.

    There is a great 60 minutes interview with Will Smith who explained the secret to his success is his incredible work ethic. I love the last line.


    “The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.

    I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working. While the other guys’ eating, I’m working.

    There’s no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you’re not skilled. If you don’t study, if you don’t work really hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day.

    The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is: I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me; you might be smarter than me. But if we get on a treadmill together, there’s two things: you’re getting off first, or I’m gonna die.

    It’s really that simple."
  5. live

    live 7+ Year Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Nice words of wisdom amalgamtor. I agree, but I will also say if you are willing to go anywhere (and I mean anywhere) and go to a program where you don't get paid then I've heard ortho is not "as hard" to get into. Just what I've heard. But like amalgator... nothing truly great comes to those who don't work hard. Just bust it next year and kill part 1 and you'll have no worries. Like someone on this forum once said "Any tard can move teeth" (he was kidding of coures.. I think). Best of luck
  6. ortho lurker

    ortho lurker 5+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2010
    "Not as hard" is relative. There are private programs who charge an exorbitant amount of tuition in large cities and may take up to 3 years to complete, yet they always fill their match positions. Surprisingly, the open post-match spots are usually at programs that have less tuition and are somtimes only 2 years in length, but are in smaller markets (and have lower cost of living).
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  7. Cheerz


    Jul 3, 2009
    Thank you all for the responses .... they are all encouraging yet have the bitterness of truth .... I have always known that without hard work I am getting
    nowhere .... but just have not been able to deliver much this past semester.

    Any idea on chances into orthodontics after a few years of experience as a GP?

    Thank you.
  8. amalgamator42

    amalgamator42 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    Orthodontics after GP is a tough nut to crack. After working and making an income, it's hard to go back to school. Also, nothing has really changed in your resume, why should they pick you over a dental student with higher stats?

    There are CE that will teach you orthodontics as a GP. They are expensive and of varying quality. There are lots of threads on Dentaltown about it. I think though, that very few dentists will do more than easy invisalign cases.

    It's a lot of overhead and the learning curve is steep for ortho. Why do an ortho case, when you can do a $1200 crown in an hour of chair time? Also, other CE is competing for your time as a GP. Many GPs realize quickly that CE in implants and molar endo pay off much more quickly than ortho.

    Also, many ortho cases appear easy, but can "go bad" and then what? There is a great book by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers: The Story of Success. In it he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. Basically, it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to "master" it. It's hard to get those 10,000 hours without doing an orthodontic residency and dedicating your practice to only ortho. Can it be done? Yes, but it's a big deal.

    So, if you want to do ortho, I'd just do it now. Go bawlz out and don't look back. Do some research with your ortho dept, get to know them. Get involved in extracurriculars, a few that you are deeply involved in (i.e. president). Be nice and friendly. Apply to a ton of schools. Read the posts here on SDN. What's the worst that could happen?

    I'll end with a quote:

    "When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"
    ―Cave Johnson
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  9. NoPresident

    NoPresident 7+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2009
    Someone who built many bridges with faculty and consistently showed interest in ortho matched in '08 at my school. His rank was in the bottom 10% of the class and had a 85 on part I, seriously. Moreover, he had no previous networks within the specialty before entering dental school. Clearly, it's a rare case but it goes to show that crazy things do sometimes happen.
  10. Cheerz


    Jul 3, 2009

    Thank you .... I too wish to pursue Ortho right away but my spouse is not in favor of it. I probably should give in my best and then see if I like GP alone better than Ortho.

    Could you also advise me on how much salary to expect as a fresh graduate?
    (I understand there is no simple answer to it since it depends on MULTIPLE factors... but I have heard of a wide range of salaries)
    I only want to be realistic.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  11. OG1

    OG1 OrthoGunner #1 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Dang you, I still haven't played Portal 2, use spoiler tags man!! :)
  12. zoralsurgeon

    zoralsurgeon noegruslaroz 5+ Year Member

    May 25, 2009
    haha you are very motivational..cool i like you haha! and, OUTLIERS is an amazing book...i 2nd that recommendation to read!!
  13. snsd

    snsd Ortho Resident

    Dec 9, 2009
    It's nice if you are top 10% but you don't need to.
    Do well on your boards. Try to get at least 90+ and you'll be fine.

    PM me if you have any specific questions
  14. Cheerz


    Jul 3, 2009
    Thank you snsd .... i certainly have lots and lots of questions in mind.... they wont all come to me at once... so will pose to them as i remember.... I wish to know what according to you are the advantages of ortho vs endo ... thank you very much!
  15. Romas

    Romas 2+ Year Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Roughly 10 or 11 people at my school matched to ortho last year, and almost none of them were in the top 10, though they were all hard workers, some had pretty amazing resumes, and they all emphasized after it was over that programs they interviewed with seemed most interested in their personality - i.e. their year as social chair at the school, or their extensive experiences planning social programs at local free clinics. I can't speak to their boards scores, though, so I assume they were 90+. Honestly, I don't see your gpa as being an issue if you make sure you ace Part 1 and start working on that resume... just find something in dental school you love outside of the classroom, and make yourself stand out. Hitting up the ortho dept is a good start, but honestly, anything you put your heart into will do.

    All the best.
  16. blissonearth

    blissonearth 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    Which school did he match at ? :thumbup:
  17. HupHolland

    HupHolland 5+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    MA / RI
    It seems as if Ortho is becoming easier to get into? Last year, everyone from my alma mater that applied matched, some of which that weren't anywhere near top 10%....

    This might be because:
    -Most suburban/urban areas are ultrasaturated with orthodontists
    -Many GPs are doing simple cases. And not only ortho cases, but endo and implants. Many top students that used to "duh, I'm obviously going to specialize in ortho" are persuing the GP route instead.. at least that's how it was at my school.

    My observation is totally anecdotal. I have absolutely not evidence to back it up.

  18. NoPresident

    NoPresident 7+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2009
    I don't recall the specific program, but it was somewhere in the northeast.
  19. BlueToothHunter

    BlueToothHunter 10+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Orthodontic graduates are everywhere! I went to a local dental society meeting in SoCal one evening and there were 8 orthodontic residents + 5 recent orthodontists + 2 seasoned orthodontists all trying to network and asking for referrals! It was so funny to see how orthodontists are now dime a dozen thanks to some programs increasing their class intakes to a dozen/year!

    Bottom line, do ortho if you love it so much. But go where you are NEEDED not where you simply want to live!

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