Episode 46 - How Has Disruption Changed Orthodontic Education? Speaking with Harvard’s Dr. Sercan Akyalcin

March 27, 2023

On this episode of The Golden Age of Orthodontics, we are joined by Dr. Sercan Akyalcin, the head of Orthodontics at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. We spoke to Dr. Akyalcin about what it takes to educate the orthodontist of the future, how the field of technology has drastically changed the tools available and what success looks like for the next generation of orthodontists. There’s never been a better time to be an orthodontist.


  • Learning the business side of an orthodontic practice is just as important as knowing the skill of dentistry. 
  • Harvard is looking for well-rounded individuals to enter their Orthodontics Program. Therefore, although grades are important, they are not the determining factor.
  • Educators need to teach their students the business side of their practice.


People + Practice - Website
Dr. Sercan Akyalcin - Harvard Website
Harvard Orthodontics Dentistry - Website


Dr. Sercan Akyalcin joined the School as a member of the faculty in the department of Developmental Biology and program director for Advanced Graduate Education (AGE) in Orthodontics on March 1, 2022.

Akyalcin, a native of Turkey, received his DDS and PhD degrees from Ege University School of Dentistry. Soon after completing his PhD degree, he began his teaching career in Canada. He then went on to receive his clinical training in the Orthodontic Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In addition, he served as Bonham Magness Endowed Professor and Graduate Program Director at the same institution until 2016. He was a faculty member at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, where he also served as the interim chair and graduate program director of Orthodontics before joining HSDM.

In his career as a dental educator and orthodontist, Akyalcin has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, contributed to published books and textbooks, and serves on the editorial boards of orthodontic and dental journals. He has been recognized with several awards in the field, including recognition from the American Association of Orthodontists, and the 2019 Edward H. Angle Research Prize. He is a sought-out speaker at national and international forums and conferences for this expertise in the field.

At HSDM, Akyalcin oversees all aspects of the AGE Orthodontics program including the recruitment and admission of highly qualified applicants; academic and clinical aspects of resident’s research projects; the recruitment of part-time faculty; and program-specific curriculum and accreditation standards.


I think there is a huge need for educators to acclimate to evolving technologies. As practice modalities change, we should adapt our curriculums accordingly.” - Dr. Sercan Akyalcin

“Specialty care in orthodontics is here to stay. You can program the most intelligent artificial intelligence and develop the smartest appliance, but our patients are not made out of zeros and ones.” - Dr. Sercan Akyalcin

Achieving practice growth isn’t as simple as it used to be. But with groundbreaking technology and new communication channels to reach more patients, People + Practice is an orthodontic marketing agency that firmly believes that there’s never been a better time to be in practice. 


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