Report Can One Bad Mark In Dental School Ruin My Chance Of Specializing? in Dental Student General Discussions Posted November 6, 2016 Stop catastrophizing your circumstances. Ortho and oral surgery are very, very different specialties. Evaluate what you really want to do. Ortho you'll need the grades (and no, it's not over). Oral surgery not so much. Go do a bunch of surgical externships during your breaks/summer months. UT Parkland, LSU (Shreveport), UT San Antonio, Emory are all good bets. Anything in the deep south where you'll be shucking a lot of teeth as a first line of treatment. But above all, figure out why you think you actually want to do ortho and/or oral surgery. I was you a while ago. Now I'm in private practice and the chances of me returning to do a residency are slimming. Not because I can't, but because I don't want to anymore. If you don't mind, may I ask why you prefer to practice as a general dentist?