June 6, 2008

Vanderbilt Orthodontics names Messersmith as program director

Featured Image

Marion Messersmith, D.D.S., M.S.D.

Vanderbilt Orthodontics names Messersmith as program director

Marion Messersmith, D.D.S., M.S.D., has been named program director for Vanderbilt Orthodontics.

Messersmith brings to Vanderbilt a career's worth of experience in orthodontic education. He started the Tri-Service Orthodontic Residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas; has been the chair and program director of Orthodontics at the University of Texas, Houston Health Sciences Center; and most recently was in private practice in Los Alamos, N.M.

“I came back to teaching residents because nothing really compares to the joy I feel making a difference in a person's life,” Messersmith said.

“In private practice, I made a difference in my patient's lives one by one. As an educator, the training you impart to residents enables them to treat their current patients and every future patient they will see.”

In addition to treating routine orthodontic malocclusions of children and adults, Vanderbilt Orthodontics treats complex dentofacial deformities that require multidisciplinary collaboration with other dental specialists, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Plastic Surgery and the Vanderbilt Craniofacial Treatment Center. The program currently trains 10 residents (12 beginning later this month) in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics.

“It is a wonderful feeling to be part of a great institution that has a reputation of doing things well,” said Messersmith.

Messersmith earned his dental degree from the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry and completed his postgraduate training in orthodontics at Saint Louis University. He also served in the Air Force for 21 years, starting as a dental student and retiring as a full colonel in 1997.

His research has spanned a wide range of topics in orthodontics and he is often invited to speak, both nationally and internationally, on orthodontic techniques and practices.