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Department of Orthodontics

Chair: Cristina Teixeira, D.M.D., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Orthodontics

New York University and its College of Dentistry are institutions that are "of the City" which also have unparalleled international presence in education and oral health care delivery. It is with this focus in mind that the department of orthodontics formulated its vision and mission statements.

Vision Statement

Considering the diagnostic and esthetic expertise required to achieve ideal oral health care in our society, the Department believes that orthodontics is central to the practice of dentistry. The vision of our Department is to make a universal impact by leading care providers from the "experienced based" art of orthodontics to the research tested knowledge base necessary to achieve quality treatment for individual patients.

Mission Statements

Mission 1 - To Create An Environment To Foster And Support Research
Mission 2 - To Provide Quality Orthodontic Care To A Diverse Community Of Patients
Mission 3 - To Create An Academic Program That Encourages Critical Thinking
Mission 4 - To Communicate And Transfer The Orthodontic Knowledge Base Globally

History of Department

Orthodontics figures prominently in the history of New York University College of Dentistry as Dr. Norman Kingsley, widely accepted as "The Father of Modern Orthodontia", was the College's first dean. The Department had initially been formed as an independent academic unit in the 1930's. For more than 20 years it was under the leadership of a prominent scholar of his time, Dr. Samuel Hemley. During much of this time the department was considered the bastion of the very popular labio-lingual orthodontic technique. Hemley's successor, Dr. George Silling, modernized the department's diagnostic capabilities by introducing and routinely utilizing the new technology of cephalometric radiography at the College. Dr. Gerald Borell took the helm next and was responsible for bringing the department into the era of advanced methodology in orthodontic treatment mechanics. He also was the first to bring the relatively new technology of computerization into the College, utilizing a custom written data base program capable of keeping track of patients and their treatment status. The arrival of the next chair, Dr. Mladen Kuftinec, marked the time of extensive globalization of the department. Several foreign born and trained faculty were hired, as the scope and the size of the International Continuing Education Program increased. During his tenure notable gains were also seen clinic automation. The current chair, Dr. George J. Cisneros, looks forward to continuing many of these advances as he intends to position the department amongst the elite in orthodontic education, both nationally and internationally, with a focus on innovation in teaching and research.


There are more than 50 educationally qualified and/or board certified faculty contributing to the current activities of the department. Departmental faculty actively support our global mission as invited speakers throughout the world. Moreover, several of our faculty serve as consultants and advisors to orthodontic national societies and universities in such places as Mexico, Canada and Israel.
Departmental activities also include a significant service component to our community. Over 21,000 orthodontic screenings and treatment reviews are conducted yearly for New York City's Department of Dental Health. Also, departmental faculty have participated and contributed to various Public Health functions organized by the College, including the Operation Smile and Oral Cancer Detection. Several members of the department have also been recognized for their civic and scientific contributions serving in key positions within national and international professional societies. Some have even been named Honorary Citizens throughout the globe, i.e., Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Athens, Zagreb and Budapest.

Departmental research activities are quite broad covering such areas as orthodontic appliance design and biomechanics, imaging technology, tissue engineering, psychosocial aspects of care delivery, as well as, being focused on fundamental basic science research and discovery.

Predoctoral Activities

Comprehensive dental health care requires that the general dentist be able to recognize, identify, and treat all aspects of oral and dental diseases and orofacial disorders. To identify and evaluate orthodontic and dentofacial problems, it is essential that the practitioner have an appreciation of the etiology and treatment of occlusal disharmonies and orofacial deformities for patients of all ages. The general dentist should also be able to consult with specialists in order to coordinate total oral health. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills while underscoring the distinction between limited and comprehensive orthodontic treatment and the indications for each level of service. Students are challenged to demonstrate their ability to recognize, describe, evaluate, and manage orthodontic problems based on clinical case histories and clinical simulation.

First Year

Students learn about postnatal facial growth and tooth eruption pattern and timing via primarily lectures and conferences integrated within the basic science curriculum.

Second Year

A laboratory course introduces diagnostic tools [cephalometrics and model analysis], so that students learn to recognize and describe occlusal and skeletal problems. The course also includes exercises in designing and constructing orthodontic appliances, i.e., InvisalignTM that can be effective in the delivery of limited orthodontic treatment. Lectures in the second year consider diagnostic issues in comprehensive dental care. Lectures progress from foundation knowledge in patient evaluation [facial, skeletal and occlusal evaluation] to more advanced topics that relate to clinical cases. Students learn in the context of clinical simulations that integrate the areas of Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Third Year

Students participate in a series of small group seminars where diagnostic topics introduced in the second year are further developed and reinforced. By reviewing the components of patient diagnosis in the context of simulated clinical case histories, students attain competence in developing problem lists, treatment objectives [solutions], sequential treatment plans and alternative treatment plans. Specific attention is given to occlusal examination, evaluation of facial form and proportion, cephalometric analysis, diagnostic study cast analysis, and radiographic interpretation. The opportunity for a "hands on" clinical experience is available for those students who have patients requiring limited orthodontic care.

Fourth Year

Along with continuing to have opportunity to treat patients with an esthetic orthodontic appliance, lectures given in this year emphasize practice management and marketing strategies on how orthodontics can be part of a successful general dental practice. A select group of fourth year students can participate in an Orthodontic Honors program. Through conferences, seminars, and clinical experiences, students develop more advanced skills in treating limited orthodontic problems.

An array of topics are being investigated by orthodontic residents, including studies of materials properties of orthodontic materials, analysis of patient records to address questions of clinical efficacy and outcomes, and patient self-perception and its influence on quality of life. Both full- and part-time faculty are involved in mentoring the research.

Other Activities
International Continuing Education Program in Orthodontics
The department’s International Program in Orthodontics, a one-year continuing education offering, has grown in popularity. In its 15-year existence, students from over 50 countries from six continents have been enrolled in this program. In many developing and underdeveloped countries, graduates of the program have significantly enhanced the orthodontic resources now currently available in a region.

Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
See description under the Advanced Education Programs section (Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics)