Practicing GP trying to get into ortho residency

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Mr dentist

New Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2018
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Hey Guys,
I am looking into applying for ortho residency.
I am a general dentist, working for past 5 years. I graduated in 2012 from a US dental school( international dentist program)with gpa 3.76 and class rank within 10%, NBDE part 1 score- 94 and part 2- 87. No leadership or research awards.
Do you think I have any chance of getting into the program and how can I improve my application? Would greatly appreciate any help..Thanks!

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Last edited:


Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 14, 2010
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Copied my response to your PM if you don't mind so others if interested can view
With your GPA and rank I would say you definitely have a chance at getting into a program. It's not easy, and it might take a year or more to get into a program, but if you're really determined then it's worth pursuing. To be frank, like Hoss said, it can more difficult for internationally trained dentists to get into residency. But it sounds like you went through a DDS program here in the States? So that helps I think.

Being a practicing dentist in general does help in distinguishing your application. In your personal statement and interviews you want to come off more as the wiser/older/mentoring dentist rather than the starry-eyed dental school graduate newbie if you ge what I'm saying. Nowadays with ortho being so competitive, you really do have to have a broad resume. Do you know who you would ask for personal statements? If you're still near your old dental school, it would probably help to meet with the program director of your dental school program (if it has one) to see what he/she thinks.

I will say it can be tough out of school to get your connections back, and probably the easiest way like I said is if you are still in touch with those from your dental school. Possible things to add to your resume include research (whether its lab-based at your dental school, or perhaps clinical based from your practice) - anything you can present or publish in any journal helps. Also other general awards or accolades of say being voted top new dental office in the area or really whatever else you can do to distinguish yourself. Things like leadership can include mentoring in your local dental society or having some kind of shadowing program in place with dental students in your practice or volunteering in local or international dental charity events? Just shootin ideas.

Really just any way you can add to your resume, and probably MOST importantly, show your interest in ortho. The #1 thing programs will want to know is, why after practicing are you changing your mind now? IE: is it just because you don't like general dentistry, or is it because you actually like ortho. What about ortho? Etc.

Good luck!

PS just as a sidenote- just because it's possible, doesn't mean it's gonna be a long, pain in the ass process to get in!