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Orthodontic Clinic

How Do I Become a Patient?

  1. Call 901.448.6213 to make a screening appointment
  2. Provide demographic information over the phone
  3. Financial information is given to the patient/parent at the screening
  4. Screening is completed by a resident with attending faculty consulting
  5. Patient/parent is advised to reserve their position in the Graduate Orthodontic Clinic (assuming they are a teaching case)
  6. $300 records fee is requested within the month (after a month, the patient would need to be re-screened)
  7. Records are taken after the records fee paid, along with the completed orthodontic examination by the resident assigned to the patient (all appointments will be made by the resident)
  8. Formal consultation regarding treatment options, reviewed by resident with patient/parent (and after formalized with supervising faculty)
  9. Down payment is requested at time of braces placement and financial contract signed for the monthly payments
  10. Completion of braces placement, straightening of teeth/bite, progress records taken every 6 months, removal of braces, retention period for 1 year 

Information for Patients

Thank you for your interest in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Graduate Orthodontic program. The Department of Orthodontics has a long history of excellence in teaching, research and patient care. UTHSC is one of the oldest Specialty Education programs in the country and continues to lead clinical excellence into the 21st century. 

Our Doctors

The Department of Orthodontics accepts four graduate students each year for its 34-month program of advanced training. These students are referred to as residents and are doctors who have already completed dental school and have chosen to specialize in orthodontics. They are enrolled in an intensive program of classroom, laboratory, and research work and clinical training that leads to a master's degree and a certificate in orthodontics. All orthodontic treatment is performed under the supervision of one of our attending faculty, all of whom have had a minimum of five years of clinical practice experience. The majority of our faculty are certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. To assure individualized care, all patients are assigned to a single resident/faculty.  

Screening for Treatment

The Graduate Orthodontic Clinic offers orthodontic treatment at reduced fees to patients who provide good teaching experience for the student. The Department's faculty members, with assistance from the residents, select patients for the teaching program through screening exams and interviews of interested prospective patients. Screenings are scheduled periodically throughout the year. All screenings at the Graduate Orthodontic Clinic are complimentary.

If you come in for a screening exam and your examiner finds that you would be a good patient for the teaching program, you will be given an estimate of when your treatment will begin based on when a student will need a new case like yours. If this is acceptable to you, you can assure your place on the program's patient list by making a deposit of $300 within two weeks of your screening appointment date.

Patients who are not good cases for our teaching program will still receive a brief explanation of their orthodontic problems as well as options for seeking care in the orthodontic faculty practice or at an outside private practice or in the pre-doctoral dental clinic (limited to a small number of very simple orthodontic problems).

To qualify for screening, you must:

  • Be at least 7 years old
  • Have good oral hygiene habits
  • Routinely receive professional dental care
  • Be able to accept that appointment times are limited to the resident and attending faculty schedules and that they can take longer than in a private practice
  • Be willing to adhere to the clinic schedule
  • Are not currently receiving orthodontic treatment from another doctor (the Graduate Orthodontic Clinic does not accept transfer patients from other practices)
  • Live in the greater Memphis area and have dependable transportation

Financial Terms and Payment

The $300 deposit you make following screening and your indication of your desire to become a patient is non-refundable and will cover the complete cost of orthodontic records which must be made before active treatment begins. The orthodontic records include dental and medical health questionnaire, photograph, models of the teeth, and x-rays.

Several options are available for paying the treatment fee. You may pay in full or you may make an initial down payment of $800 followed by 21 monthly payments of $125. Typical fees for treatment are $3,725 for child/teenage treatments and $4,100 for adult treatments which includes the deposit made at the time of the screening evaluation. The UTHSC Department of Orthodontics enters into a contract with you that commits the department to providing the proposed treatment and commits you to paying the total fee. You can make your payments via this online payment link.

The orthodontic fee does not include non-orthodontic procedures such as filings or extractions and does not include replacement of lost appliances. There may be additional charges for excessively damaged appliances or for multiple missed appointments which extend treatment time.

Insurance Information

You are responsible for the full cost of treatment, regardless of any insurance that may apply. We recommend that you call your insurance provider prior to your screening visit to determine if you are able to utilize your benefits in our clinic. The Graduate Orthodontic Clinic is not in network with any insurance company. As long as you have out of network benefits then you should be able to use your insurance in our clinic. The Graduate Orthodontic Clinic will obtain your insurance information at your records visit and will provide you with coverage details at your consultation visit, after your records visit. The Orthodontic clinic will accept assignment of payment from your insurance carrier directly to our office, thus making your initial down payment and monthly payments lower depending on the coverage benefits. Many policies do not cover orthodontic care and few provide total coverage of the fee. The UTHSC Graduate Orthodontic Clinic also accepts Tenncare insurance for those patients who qualify with severe problems.

Last Published: Mar 12, 2021