What Qualifications Do Orthodontists Need to Have?

Learn about the qualifications needed to become an orthodontist including post-secondary education requirements, job opportunities, salary information and more.

What Qualifications Do Orthodontists Need to Have?

Becoming an orthodontist requires a minimum of eleven years of post-secondary education and experience. This includes obtaining a college degree, passing the dentist entrance exam, completing dental school and residency, passing the National Board dental exam, and obtaining a license to practice orthodontics as a specialty. The most job opportunities for orthodontists are found in Idaho, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and New Jersey. To maintain their license, orthodontists must complete continuing education courses and requirements. Orthodontic education begins with a four-year bachelor's degree, followed by four years of dental school and an orthodontic program that can last three to five years.

An orthodontist specializes in repairing and straightening teeth, as well as aligning misaligned jaws. They must have a comprehensive understanding of the mouth, jaw, skull, and face. The salary of an orthodontist is determined by their geographical location, type of employment situation and level of experience. Orthodontists rarely receive emergency calls and those who run their own office can control their schedule and the number of patients. They use a calculated strategy, medical expertise and cutting-edge technology to help patients achieve a perfect smile.

Most orthodontists work with young people to straighten and correct teeth and jaws using braces and other dental devices. Before beginning orthodontist training, you must complete four years of dental school. For example, most young people who wear orthodontic appliances have them for two to three years and may need to visit the orthodontist on a monthly basis with more frequent visits closer to the date they are removed. Being an orthodontist is not only professionally rewarding but also personally satisfying. You get to help children have better self-esteem once they see their smile after removing their orthodontic appliances. Regular dental care and seeing an orthodontist when needed help ensure that your teeth are in perfect condition.

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