Do Orthodontists Need to Go Through Medical School?

Becoming an orthodontist requires extensive education and training. Learn more about the process of becoming an orthodontist and what qualifications are needed.

Do Orthodontists Need to Go Through Medical School?

Becoming an orthodontist requires a significant amount of education and training. To become an orthodontist, you must first attend dental school for four years. During the first two years, you will learn basic science courses such as biochemistry and anatomy. The last two years will focus on clinical experience and knowledge.

After graduating from dental school, you must complete an orthodontic residency program in order to become a licensed orthodontist. Dental school is a four-year program that requires a bachelor's degree in a scientific field. However, it is not necessary to have a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted into dental school. You will need to complete courses in biology, chemistry, and other sciences before you can begin studying in the specialty of orthodontics.

The Dental Accreditation Commission currently lists 68 orthodontic residency programs in the United States. These programs are ranked according to the quality of training, post-residency practices, research, and more. After completing an orthodontic residency program, you must pass the national dental board exam and the state licensing requirements of the state in which you intend to practice. The university degrees that an orthodontist will have are as follows: first, they obtain their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from an accredited dental school.

After this, they apply to a graduate program in orthodontics to obtain a Master of Science (MS) in orthodontics. Orthodontists must complete 40 hours of professional education per year in most states. They also need to keep their license up to date with continuing education and periodic recertification. Orthodontists treat a wide variety of dental alignment problems, also known as “malocclusions”.

Becoming an orthodontist is a long and challenging process but it can be very rewarding. Orthodontists enjoy high salaries, an excellent work-life balance, and a friendly and sociable teamwork environment. If you're considering straightening your teeth or improving your bite, you'll need the help of an orthodontist.

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