Is My Dentist an Orthodontist?

What it takes to become an orthodontist.

 An orthodontist is a dental specialist that has not only completed college and 4 years of dental school, but has also completed an additional 2 to 3 years residency program accredited by the ADA of advanced education in orthodontics. After receiving the additional years of training and education, an orthodontist has learned the skills that are required to treat the misalignment of teeth and facial development with braces, headgear, retainers and other methods. Only a dentist that has completed the additional years of training and education after dental school is an orthodontist.

Orthodontists do much more than simply put on braces; preparation for oral surgery, and treatment to keep the jaw joints healthy are a large part of an orthodontist’s duties. Becoming an orthodontist is a  rewarding career choice and it can make a difference in the way people feel about themselves for their entire lives.

Step 1

Earn a Bachelor’s degree. You generally must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree to enter dental school.

Step 2

Enroll in a dental college to attain your DDS (Doctor of Dental Science). This will take four years of studying biology, social sciences, and anatomy as they relate to dental health.

Step 3

Pass the Dental Admissions Test. This test certifies that you have the necessary skills to become a practicing dentist; no dentist is allowed to operate a practice without passing this exam.

Step 4

Enroll in a Science of Orthodontics course. This will take an additional two to three years. This course will begin teaching you the arts of your chosen profession.




Step 5

Start a practice.

Becoming an orthodontist is very challenging and takes hard work and dedication.


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