The Educational Path an Orthodontists Needs to Take
Orthodontists are dental specialists who straighten teeth, usually by applying braces. This procedure requires training and practice in proper technique as well as extensive knowledge of the structure of the mouth, jaw, skull and face.
Dental School Admission
Dental schools require undergraduate students to complete a year each of biology, general and organic chemistry and physics, as well as a year of English before they are considered for admission. There is no particular college major required for dental school. Most dental students complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, although some are admitted after their third year of undergraduate studies. Students must take the Dental Admissions Test at least a year before their planned date of admission to dental school. Dental schools advise, but do not require, aspiring orthodontists to find paid or volunteer work experience in an orthodontic clinic or practice during their college vacations or even during their high school years.
Orthodontists are required to earn either a doctor of dental surgery, D.D.S., or doctor of dental medicine, D.M.D., degree from an accredited dental school. The two degrees are equivalent, and the curriculum for either degree includes advanced instruction in biology and physiology, as well as actual dental instruction. During the third and fourth years of the four-year dental school program, emphasis shifts from classroom education to hands-on clinical training. Some dental schools allow students to explore areas of interest, including orthodontics, in their fourth year of dental school, and a typical clinical program includes an introduction to orthodontic practice.
Post Graduate Training Program In Orthodontics
A post-graduate training program in orthodontics takes three years to complete. It includes classroom instruction, clinical, and research experience. The training program focuses on proper techniques for straightening teeth that take into account bone growth during the teenage years, when braces are most often applied which is required for students.