Becoming an orthodontist or a dentist requires a significant amount of dedication and hard work. It takes four years of undergraduate education, four years of dental school, and two to three years of a graduate program in orthodontics to become an orthodontist. This means that it can take up to ten years to become an orthodontist. Dentists, on the other hand, must complete eight years of higher education.
Dentists help people avoid serious dental problems by diagnosing them early on and treating them effectively once they occur. Orthodontists specialize in aligning teeth and jaws, while dentists can help patients achieve a cleaner, healthier smile through cleanings, x-rays, and even surgery. Orthodontic appliances are usually worn for two to three years, with monthly visits increasing closer to the date they are removed. An orthodontist can effectively treat conditions such as teeth that are too crowded or too far apart, teeth that stick out and are misaligned, and jaws that don't match.
To become an orthodontist, you must complete a residency program after dental school, which requires 11 to 12 years of education and clinical experience. In addition to these studies, you must also obtain a dental license by passing an exam and an independent orthodontist license. Obtaining a dental license requires passing an exam, but those who wish to become orthodontists are expected to complete further studies and another exam. The minimum educational requirement to become an orthodontist is a doctorate in dentistry, with specialized training in orthodontics.
Orthodontists (sometimes called oral surgeons) are doctors who specialize in repairing teeth and jaws that aren't aligned properly. An orthodontist focuses on repairing and straightening a person's teeth, as well as using procedures to align misaligned jaws. Here at Masterpiece Smiles we hope to have helped clarify the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist.