An orthodontist is a type of dentist who is an expert in fixing crooked teeth. Using devices such as braces, an orthodontist can readjust the teeth and solve the dental problem. It is not an easy task, that is why it takes a lot to become one in order to ensure that the job is done without mishaps.
- Before you can train as an orthodontist, the first step is to have a bachelors degree. Although some dental programs allow those who have at least two years of undergraduate education, you will have a higher chance to be accepted if you finished a 4-year course. It is best to major in biology, chemistry, or other science-related courses. Applying for dental school requires you to pass the Dental Admission Test or DAT.
- The next step is to graduate from dental school. Once you are done, you will already have a Doctor of Dental (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. The first half of this education is basically learning the basic science courses, while the last two years are for practical programs in order for you to gain clinical experience. You will be exposed to a lot of dental specialties, such as orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. You will be under the guidance of licensed dentists.
- After which, you have to complete a postgraduate orthodontic specialty program. Most of these programs run for three years where you will gain knowledge about orthodontics, surgical orthodontics, and dentofacial orthopedics. It is also best to be trained in research methodology and teaching and finish a research project. You can also attend conferences and complete case reports. Once you are done with the program, you are already a qualified dental specialist in orthodontics.
- Lastly, you have to earn your license. You will need to pass a written and practical examination. In order to practice as an orthodontist, you have to go through a postgraduate education program which may require to take another state examination. There are states where your license will allow you to practice as a general dentist and at the same time an orthodontist.