WHO IS AN ORTHODONTIST?
Orthodontists are dentists that are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of orthodontic problems. They dedicate their professional lives to creating healthy, beautiful smiles in children, teens and adults. Well-aligned teeth are more than attractive: they make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively!
Orthodontists use a variety of “appliances,” including braces and clear aligner trays (Invisalign), to move teeth. Because of orthodontists’ advanced education and clinical experience, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to recommend the best kind of appliance to meet every individual patient’s unique treatment goals.
When making the decision to receive orthodontic treatment, make sure to select an orthodontist for your care as orthodontists are the only type of dentist specifically certified to provide tooth and jaw alignment treatment.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME AN ORTHODONTIST?
There are three steps in an orthodontist’s education:
Four years of college
Four years of dental school to become a licensed primary care dentist
Two to three years of orthodontic residency (additional training which focuses only on the specialty of orthodontics)
IT CAN TAKE 10 OR MORE YEARS OF EDUCATION AFTER HIGH SCHOOL TO BECOME AN ORTHODONTIST.
After completing college requirements, the prospective orthodontist attends dental school. Upon graduation from dental school, the future orthodontist must be accepted as a student in an accredited orthodontic residency program and then successfully complete a minimum of two academic years of study. The orthodontic student learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).
Only those who have successfully completed this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.”
Orthodontists limit their scope of work to orthodontics.