Orthodontists are dental specialists commonly known for straightening teeth with braces. Orthodontists require rigorous training and lots of practice to conduct the procedure of applying braces. They need extensive knowledge of the mouth, jaw, skull, and face to carry out their tasks effectively. The American Board of Orthodontics, which is the national certification organization for orthodontists, requires post-graduate training and an examination before it certifies an orthodontist. Other requirements for orthodontists are the same as for dentists.
Why Become An Orthodontist?
If you feel that you have the interest and ability to pursue an orthodontist career, it would be good for you to know that there are ample career opportunities as well as competitive salaries in the field. Orthodontists also have the flexibility to work in a hospital or run an independent clinic. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2010 and 2020, employment opportunities for dentists and orthodontists will grow at a much higher rate than the average growth in all occupations.
How to Become an Orthodontist
After high school, students will need a major that will help them apply to dental school. Students usually select a major in biology or chemistry. While in an undergraduate program, students should get information about admissions and curriculum from the dental school at which they plan to apply. Dental colleges may also require students to take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).
Once a student has started dental school, he or she will go through an intensive study of four years. The first years of dental school will be based on classroom instruction. In the later years, a student will practice their training on patients under the care of instructors. They will work on areas ranging from periodontal disease to pediatric dentistry. Dental students usually make all the appointments and perform lab work.
After graduating from a dental school, a student may apply for any of the dentistry specialties. Major specialties include oral surgery, prosthodontics, pedodontics, periodontics, endodontics, and orthodontics. Once a student has completed the Masters of Science in Orthodontics degree program, he or she may apply for a specialty license in the state they wish to work. After the license, an orthodontist could begin to practice, which is usually considered to be both mentally and physically demanding in nature.
How Long Does It Take To Become An Orthodontist?
An orthodontist requires around ten to eleven years after high school graduation to start his or her career. Orthodontists require four years of undergraduate education, four years of dental school, and two to three years in orthodontic graduate program. It usually takes a student around ten years to start seeing the first orthodontic patients.
According to the BLS, the job opportunities for dentists are likely to increase by 16 percent between 2012 and 2022. This rate is higher than the average growth rate for all occupations. The BLS states that orthodontists' average salary to be $186,320 per year, according to May 2012 figures.