How to become an orthodontist is an easy question to answer but not so easy a career path to follow. Read the article on becoming an orthodontist and see if you have it in you!

How To Become An Orthodontist

A pearly white set of teeth is equal to a gorgeous smile! If you are gifted with beautiful white teeth that are properly aligned then you would probably be flaunting them without our permission. If you don’t have this asses then what are you waiting for? Visit an orthodontist and get your denture fixed but if you are one of those who want to be working towards such dental solutions – read solutions as dental reconstruction, oral surgery, dentistry and smile corrections etc – then you should probably become one. After almost eleven years of studies when you become a professional, you’ll realise that the long road to becoming an orthodontist is totally worth the effort and the time. It is a fulfilling job which is also a lucrative. The work hours maybe tedious but the perfect smile that you see on your patients’ faces at the end of the day makes it all worthwhile. Read the following section to learn more about becoming an orthodontist.
Becoming An Orthodontist
After high school, you can enrol yourself for a BDS or Bachelor of Dental Science degree that takes about four years. This graduate degree is also called DDS (Doctor of Dental Science) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medical Degree) in different countries. There generally are entrance tests that you must take to get through the best dental colleges. Once you have this degree, you are a dentist but being called an orthodontist takes a master’s degree. The next step is to sit for an entrance test for Master’s in Dental Sciences (MDS) and select orthodontistry as your area of specialisation – master’s takes another 3 years to complete. Finally, depending upon the country you are operating from, you'll need to pass the College of Dentists Board or any national dental board examination to become a practicing orthodontist.
Courses Required
After receiving your degree and before applying to a postgraduate orthodontic program, it is highly recommended to complete at least a brief residency in the field of general dentistry. A residency, which lasts from two to five years, works wonders for your resume. This period of time will be a good practice for you and provide you a chance to use all the skills you have obtained so far. Grab this opportunity so as to make sure to stand out by using your grades, experiences and extracurricular work.
Skills Required
  • Intelligence and smartness with the ability to stay updated while practicing.
  • Hard work, dedication and patience to complete the almost 12 years of study and endure the long work hours.
  • Passion for the work.
  • Communication skills, mainly the knowledge of the local languages, help in communicating with the patients.
  • Frankness and approachability
  • Detail orientation and organization skills to handle the patients effectively.
Roles And Responsibilities
  • Orthodontists are specialty dentists who work towards preventing and treating teeth and jaw-related problems. Various cosmetic orthodontic issues include misaligned jaws, crooked teeth, facial abnormalities, overbites, cross bites, under bites and open bites.
  • They take x-rays of patients to diagnose problems and form a plan of treatment.
  • They often treat patients by applying pressure to the teeth and mouth with braces and retainers. It is best to visit an orthodontist rather than a dentist when a need arises for you to wear braces.
  • Some orthodontists also perform oral surgeries.
  • Orthodontists who treat cosmetic issues work with patients to achieve the look they desire and improve the appearance of their facial features. Such treatments add to the self-confidence of patients.
  • Professional orthodontists often deal with purely cosmetic surgeries like smile correction, scaling, etc.
  • Most orthodontists work either privately or in group practice and specialize in particular orthodontic fields such as paediatric orthodontics, cosmetic orthodontics, or oral surgery.
Career Prospects
Orthodontists are dental specialists and orthodontistry was one of the first specializations within dentistry. As mentioned before, even within an orthodontist program, there is room for further specializations like pediatrics, cosmetics or oral surgery etc. An experienced professional in this field earns enough to sustain a beautiful smile on his/her face for good – that’s for sure!

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