What Is An Orthodontist?
Throughout my years of practice, I have come to realize that many people so not understand the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist. Put simply, an orthodontist is a specialized dentist who is trained in treating misaligned teeth and jaws. In younger children, an orthodontist can prevent dental abnormalities through routine exams. For older patients, an orthodontist can correct such irregularities such as crooked teeth and overbites. Orthodontics happens to be first special of dentistry concerned with misaligned teeth. As you can see, we have been in a profession that has been around for a very long time; our job is to keep your teeth healthy and your smile perfect!
Required Education For Orthodontists
An orthodontist in the United States has to go through extensive schooling in order to become certified. First, the dentist has to graduate with a DDS, DMD, or BDS. After that, it is time to go into an accredited program. Most programs last about 2-3 years but the exact tuition, curriculum, and goals will vary from school to school. It is safe to say that most programs will teach the orthodontist about wire appliances. Students also have to pass a written exam given by the American Board of Orthodontics.
After graduation and upon entering the workforce, the next step is to become board certified. These certifications are good for 10 years. In order to pass the board certification, the orthodontist has to present six cases they have treated to the American Board of Orthodontics and he or she has to defend their clinical work.
As with any other profession, the job outlook is going to depend on a number of things. These things include the school the orthodontist attended, years of practice, and location. Certain states have an abundance of orthodontists while others do not have as much competition. Even though some states have a great deal of orthodontists, they still make great money because orthodontics is a specialized profession; any specialty within a profession will pay a higher salary.
Becoming an orthodontist was a great personal decision for me. I get the satisfaction of knowing I am helping my patients keep their teeth and gums healthy while aiding them in achieving that perfect smile.