Expert consensus on Didactic Clinical Skills Development for orthodontic curricula

Vesna Lea S. Ferrer, Christopher Van Ness, Laura R. Iwasaki, Jeffrey C. Nickel, Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan, Cynthia C. Gadbury-Amyot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose/objective: Competence is expected of each beginning dentist and orthodontist. However, the broad definition of competence presents a challenge to academic programs in identifying the level of cognition for students to achieve competence. This study aimed to determine the Didactic Clinical Skills Development curriculum content and competency in predoctoral and advanced education orthodontic programs. Method: A modified Delphi method with a consensus threshold of 70% was employed using an expert panel of academic orthodontists. Results: Round One (n = 26) identified that all topics proposed by a focus group were necessary, except for predoctoral Appliances, which was at 65%. Round Two (n = 23) included subtopics of Appliances to confirm the lack of consensus, plus subtopics of all the other topics and the level of cognition required for each subtopic. The expert panel reached a consensus that all 24 subtopics, hence all topics, were necessary. In Round Three, subtopic responses in Round Two were assigned a value between 1 (remember) and 6 (create) to generate a hierarchical level-of-learning scale. Mean values were calculated for each subtopic response. For all subtopics, the mean level of cognition for predoctoral education was at understand; for advanced education, it was at evaluate. Conclusion: This consensus suggests that, to be deemed competent, beginning dentists must learn these topics and subtopics in the cognitive domain of understand, and beginning orthodontists in the cognitive domain of evaluate. This study showed an expert consensus on Didactic Clinical Skills Development orthodontic curriculum content and a panorama of educational objectives that could be used as a template for curriculum design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-755
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Delphi technique
  • clinical skills/topics
  • curriculum development/evaluation
  • dental education
  • orthodontics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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