Dental school launches orthodontics graduate program 

The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) has expanded its graduate offerings with a specialty training program in orthodontics that was recently accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

“Orthodontic treatment is a complex biological process that involves changes in the bones of the jaw and face as well as the overlying soft tissues, as teeth are moved with orthodontic appliances to their new positions,” said Achint Utreja, DDS, MS, PhD, director of the orthodontics graduate program. “The clinical, didactic and research components of the SIU SDM advanced training program in Orthodontics are designed to impart orthodontic skill and knowledge and develop critical thinking.

The school has welcomed its first two residents of the new program: Feras Al Khatib, DMD, of St. Louis, and Amritpal Kullar, DMD, of Sacramento, California.

“I am proud to be part of the new graduate program in orthodontics at the SIU SDM,” said Al Khatib. “Orthodontics is more than a specialty for me, it is a passion. It excites me to see how orthodontics can transform people’s lives and help them smile with confidence. This program will serve the residents of the area and give them access to affordable and comprehensive orthodontic care.”

Kullar earned his DMD from SIU SDM and is looking forward to continuing his education.

“Orthodontics is an exciting branch of dentistry, where we literally change lives by changing smiles every day,” Kullar added. “It is also a unique specialty where we connect not only with our patients but also their families to create long-lasting relationships.”

The residents will meet the educational requirements for certification by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) and state licensing bodies for the specialty practice of orthodontics.

For more information about the SIU SDM orthodontics program visit

Photo: (L-R) SIU SDM orthodontics resident Feras Al Khatib, DMD; Achint Utreja, DDS, MS, PhD, director of the orthodontics graduate program; and Amritpal Kullar, DMD, orthodontics resident.


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