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Training the Next Orthodontists

Dr. William Parris — Orthodontic Training

Dr. Parris strives to give back in his field, which is evident by the years of dedication and teaching he uses to train new orthodontists. His continued training and education also helps him to stay up-to-date on the latest procedures and techniques, which allows him to better serve patients with cutting-edge technology.

Orthodontic Training and Clinical Research

Upon graduating from the Orthodontic Department at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 1985, Dr. Parris served as a Clinical Instructor in the College of Dentistry. He was then promoted to Assistant Professor and assigned to the Graduate Orthodontic Department, where he assisted orthodontic residents in diagnosing, treatment planning, and treating orthodontic patients. Due to his experience on the local cleft lip palate team, Dr. Parris was asked to teach the Interdisciplinary Seminars to the orthodontic, pediatric dental, and oral surgery residents. The cleft team then became associated with Baptist Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Parris subsequently held a staff appointment with the hospital.

In 2000, Dr. Parris was promoted to Associate Professor and appointed Craniofacial Anomalies Director for the Department of Orthodontics. He also holds a teaching position in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. The Cleft Lip Palate Team is now associated with University of Tennessee Plastic Surgery and LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, at which he holds a staff appointment. He lectures several times each year to the dental students on craniofacial treatment.

Craniofacial Anomalies Dentistry

Dr. Parris is responsible for teaching the Craniofacial Anomalies Course to the orthodontic, pediatric dental, and oral surgery residents in the winter/spring quarters. This course reviews the many types of craniofacial syndromes with the main emphasis on cleft lip palate treatment and the Nasal Alveolar Molding (NAM) therapy. NAM treatment molds and reshapes the nose, lip, and palate on newborn cleft babies to prepare them for plastic surgery. This therapy was developed by Dr. Barry Grayson at NYU. Dr. Parris has modified the therapy to be used on infants in his clinic. He teaches the NAM technique in his Cleft Lip Palate Clinic on Friday mornings in the Graduate Pediatric Dental Clinic at UT. Ear Nose Throat (ENT) residents are also required to rotate through this cleft clinic in their first year.

Alexander Discipline Orthodontic Technique

Dr. Parris has also lectured on cleft treatment at the Vanderbilt Orthodontic in Nashville, Methodist Hospital NICU Symposium in Memphis, Grand Rounds for Regional One Medical Center NICU in Memphis, Grand Rounds for University of Tennessee Otolaryngology Program, and numerous local dental meetings and study clubs.

Dr. Parris also teaches the orthodontic residents the Alexander Discipline Orthodontic Technique developed by Dr. Wick Alexander of Arlington, Texas, and he has used it very successfully for over 30 years in his private practice. Dr. Parris presents a 3-day Alexander Principles Course each fall for the 1st year residents and assists them in using this technique on their patients in the orthodontic clinic. He has also been a member and president of the American Alexander Discipline Study Club located in Arlington, Texas, where he takes residents to the annual AD Principle Course each year.


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