Purpose of the Dental Match
The Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (the Dental Match) provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in postdoctoral dental education programs of their choice, and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice.
The Dental Match is administered by National Matching Services Inc. (NMS) and is overseen by eight Sponsoring Organizations.
Similar matching programs are used across North America in the annual recruitment of doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, optometrists, podiatrists, and other health professions.
How It Works
1. Register for the Dental Match
Each applicant and program that wants to participate in the Dental Match must register online in the NMS Match System.
2. Apply to Programs
Applicants must apply to programs they are interested in independently of the Dental Match. Each program sets its own procedures for applications, but most collect applications using the ADEA PASS application service.
3. Interview with Programs
Programs evaluate applications and invite acceptable applicants to interview. Some programs schedule interviews using the NMS Interview scheduling service while others schedule interviews independently of the Match.
No offers are made by programs during the interview period. Applicants and programs can evaluate each other fully before the programs must decide on their preferences for applicants, and before applicants must decide on their preferences for programs.
4. Submit Your Rank Order List of Preferred Placements
After all interviews are completed, each applicant submits a Rank Order List on which the applicant lists the desired programs, in numerical order of the applicant's preference (first choice, second choice, etc.). Similarly, each program submits a Rank Order List on which the program lists the desirable applicants, in order of the program's preference. Each program also indicates the number of positions the program has available.
The Dental Match is conducted in two Phases. ORTHO, PERIO, PROS, ANES and Canadian GPR programs, and all applicants interested in those positions, submit Rank Order Lists in Phase I of the Dental Match.
AEGD, US GPR, OMS and PED programs, and all applicants interested in those positions, submit Rank Order Lists in Phase II of the Dental Match.All Rank Order List information is submitted online in the NMS Match System and is confidential.
5. The Matching Algorithm is Run
NMS uses a matching algorithm to process the preferences stated in the Rank Order Lists and place individuals into positions.
6. Get Your Result
The result of the Match is that each applicant is placed with the most preferred program on the applicant's Rank Order List that ranks the applicant and does not fill all its positions with more preferred applicants. Similarly, each program is matched with the most preferred applicants on its list, up to the number of positions available, who rank the program and who do not receive positions at programs they prefer. Results are available by email and online in the NMS Match System.
7. Post-Match Process
It is possible that all of a particular program's positions will not be filled in the Match, and that some applicants will be left unmatched. When the results of the Match are released, information regarding positions that remain available is provided to applicants who are not matched. Similarly, information regarding unmatched applicants is provided to programs with unfilled positions. These unmatched applicants and programs with positions available are free to contact each other and to negotiate directly with each other, independently of the Dental Match, to fill available positions.
Read more about the Dental Match:
Advantages of the Dental Match
Since all offers, acceptances, rejections, and final placements occur simultaneously, the Match is an effective and fair means of processing offers. The Match guarantees that each applicant and program will get the best possible result that is available to them.
The Match allows programs and applicants to evaluate each other fully before determining their preferences, so there is no pressure to make premature decisions based on incomplete information. Applicants and programs can list their desired placements in order of their true preference, without worrying about how they will be ranked by the other party.
The Match ensures that programs will not overfill their positions. It also eliminates unfair behavior that occurs in many typical recruitment processes, like programs issuing extremely time-limited offers, applicants hoarding multiple offers, and programs or applicants reneging on a prior acceptance because a more preferred option has become available.
The Sponsoring Organizations of the Dental Match are jointly responsible for establishing the rules of the Match, and for monitoring the implementation of the Dental Match. The Sponsoring Organizations of the Dental Match are:
- American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Special Care Dentistry Association
- American Association of Orthodontists
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- American Academy of Periodontology
- American College of Prosthodontists
- American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists
- American Student Dental Association
The administration and implementation of the Dental Match is carried out by National Matching Services Inc. (NMS), on behalf of the Sponsoring Organizations.
The Dental Match has been endorsed by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Education and Licensure, the American Dental Education Association, and the Veterans Administration.
The Match to fill postdoctoral positions in dentistry has operated successfully since 1985, when it was initially developed and organized by the Committee on Residency Education and Training of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. The Dental Match has expanded since that time, and now includes the following types of programs: Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD), US General Practice Residency (GPR), Canadian General Practice Residency (GPR-CAN), Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS), Orthodontics (ORTHO), Pediatric Dentistry (PED), Periodontics (PERIO), Prosthodontics (PROS) and Dental Anesthesiology (ANES).