Pediatric Cleft / Craniofacial Orthodontics Fellowship

UT Southwestern / Children’s Medical Center of Dallas offer a one year fellowship program in Pediatric Cleft, Craniofacial and Special Orthodontics. The fellow will be a fully integrated member of the cleft and craniofacial team at these institutions. The demand for orthodontists with a sub-specialty in cleft, craniofacial, and special need orthodontic care has been dramatically increasing over the past decade nationwide that currently there is a shortage of such. The American Dental Association recognizes the shortage and is currently in the process of approving or accrediting this type of orthodontic fellowships. This position is typically offered to an orthodontist who has completed dental and orthodontic training elsewhere and is looking for additional orthodontic training for cleft, craniofacial and special need patients in a hospital setting with comprehensive team approach. The fellowship program is under the direction and supervision of Dr. Supakit Peanchitlertkajorn who is the orthodontic director Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Goals and Objectives of the Pediatric Orthodontic Fellowship Program

The goal of the program is to educate and train future academic, clinical, and research leaders in cleft craniofacial and special care orthodontics. Upon completion of the training program, the orthodontist should have clinical expertise in all aspects of cleft, craniofacial and special need orthodontic management for infants, children, adolescence, and young adults. The vast majority of cleft, craniofacial and special need orthodontic management issues for these patients are inadequately covered in most orthodontic residency training programs.

Areas of training in the fellowship:

  • Utilization of advanced diagnostic modalities to arrive at accurate diagnoses and formulate an appropriate and comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Participation in clinical orthodontics including: presurgical orthopedic treatments in cleft infants, facial orthopedic treatments, pre and post surgical orthodontic cares, and comprehensive orthodontic treatments
  • Interacting with other disciplinary team members to deliver a team approach care to cleft, craniofacial and special need patients
  • Attending craniofacial clinic, and surgical orthodontic clinic
  • Participation in conferences including journal club, seminars, weekly case review
  • Rotations to Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sleep Disorder Clinic, Genetic Clinic, Speech and Language Pathology Clinic and Pediatric Dental Clinic
  • Preparation of presentations for national and/or international professional meetings.
  • Clinical teaching to orthodontic and pediatric dental residents on rotation

Program Curriculum / Required Scholarly Activities

Clinical Duties and Responsibilities

The fellow will participate in patient examinations, patient consultation, and treatment planning regarding orthodontics and craniofacial development. He or she will perform clinical orthodontic and facial orthopedic treatment procedures on cleft, craniofacial and special need patients. The responsibilities also include emergency management, the preoperative and postoperative evaluation of orthodontic-surgical cases, and gathering of information and pertinent data concerning upcoming cases. An intensive experience in the orthodontic management of pediatric cleft and craniofacial patients will be gained in the Orthodontic Clinic, where the fellow will work with other cleft team members including pediatric dentists, speech pathologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and plastic surgeon. The fellow will also be exposed to orthodontic laboratory procedures pertaining to treatment of cleft and craniofacial anomalies. Additionally, the fellow will participate in the operating room. Fellows will observe the attending surgeon while performing major cleft and craniofacial repairs in infants and children. They will be expected to understand fully the anatomy, physiology, and planning of major craniofacial and dentofacial reconstructions.

Academic / Educational Experiences

Clinical education is primarily derived from lectures, seminars and rounds as well as in the course of the Orthodontic Fellow’s clinical duties, interacting with the attending staff in plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dental, as well as other craniofacial team members. Numerous special conferences are also designed primarily for the instruction of dental and orthodontic residents and fellows. Additionally, fellows are required to be involved in the education of the residents and medical and dental students rotating through the service.


Fellows will be expected to initiate and complete clinical research projects and case reports during their training. These will be facilitated by orthodontic or plastic surgery faculty members. The opportunity to make presentations at national and international conferences in cleft and craniofacial orthodontics is offered to fellows who have appropriate material.

Eligibility and Application Process

Applicants must complete of their training in dentistry and orthodontic residency. Applicants from the United States should have completed orthodontics residency from an accredited program. International applicants must meet the requirements established by the Texas Dental Board and the U.S. Immigration Services. Since the training program is variable in its length, potential applicants should inquire as to the availability of a training position that will begin when the applicant desires. Positions usually begin on August 1st, and are for one year in duration. Interested applicants should contact Dr. Supakit Peanchitlertkajorn, the program director, at 214-4568825 or Application materials usually require a personal statement, curriculum vitae, and letters of recommendation. Interview dates will be arranged after receiving the application materials.

Pediatric Cleft Craniofacial Orthodontics Fellowship Application(PDF)

The selection of applicants is at the discretion of the Program Director, based on whether the candidates satisfy requirements of UT Southwestern Medical School. Decisions are based on demonstrated commitment to the field of cleft, craniofacial and special need orthodontics.

Upon completion of the program, the Children’s Graduate Medical Education Office, in conjunction with the Department of Plastic Surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, will confer a certificate indicating the candidate has satisfactorily completed a year of fellowship training in Cleft, Craniofacial and Special Need Orthodontic Fellowship Program.