Becoming an orthodontist is no easy feat. It requires a great deal of dedication and hard work, with a minimum of ten years of undergraduate and graduate studies. But if you have a passion for teeth and helping people look and feel their best, it can be a very rewarding career. The first step to becoming an orthodontist is to complete a bachelor's degree.
After that, you must complete dental school and become a fully certified dentist. Then, you can apply for a two-year or three-year residency program in an advanced dental field such as orthodontics. During the residency program, you will take courses in basic science, craniofacial development, material science, diagnosis and planning of orthodontic treatment, mechanical therapy, growth and the development and management of orthodontic offices. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate in orthodontic education.
The Advanced Orthodontic Education Program %26 in Dentofacial Orthopedics is accredited by the Dental Accreditation Commission and has been granted “approval” accreditation status with no reporting requirements. This meets the training requirements to be able to participate in the certification process of the United States Board of Orthodontics. Unfortunately, there are more applicants for orthodontic residencies than there are available positions, with about 15 applicants for every residency vacancy. But if you are accepted into the program, you will be well on your way to becoming an orthodontist.
Orthodontists are trained to create a healthy bite, develop proper alignment, understand the size and position of the upper and lower jaws, and identify the position of the teeth within them. They also work with general dentists to determine if gums and teeth are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment. Although the initial costs can be overwhelming, over time a career in orthodontics can really pay off. So if you have had a great experience with orthodontic care or have always been thinking about starting a new career in dentistry, consider becoming an orthodontist.