A Thorny Path to Becoming an Orthodontist

February 05, 2023 · 4 min read

As well as many other medical specialists, becoming an orthodontist typically takes several years of education and training. After completing a bachelor's degree, individuals must attend dental school for four years to earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Following dental school, individuals must then complete a two- to a three-year orthodontic residency program, which includes both classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience. After completing the residency program, the individual must pass a written and clinical board examination to become a certified orthodontist. So in total, it takes approximately 8-11 years to become an orthodontist.

In addition, it is a highly competitive field, and getting into a residency program can be difficult. A strong academic record, research experience, and relevant clinical experience can all help increase the chances of being accepted into a program. Look at the reasons why exactly orthodontics is considered to be a competitive field.

  1. High demand: The demand for orthodontic services has been growing, as more people seek to improve their smiles and overall oral health. This high demand for orthodontic services creates competition for established practices and new orthodontists entering the field.
  2. Advanced training: To become an orthodontist, a dental professional must complete additional education and training beyond dental school. This specialized training and knowledge sets orthodontists apart from general dentists and can make it difficult for new orthodontists to establish a successful practice.
  3. Limited number of residency programs: There are a limited number of orthodontic residency programs available, which can lead to competition among dental students seeking to enter the field.
  4. High earning potential: Orthodontics is a lucrative specialty, with many orthodontists earning a high income. This high earning potential attracts many dental professionals to the field, creating competition for available positions.

Notwithstanding the fact, that this area is quite hard to get into, one should remember that with hard work and dedication, many orthodontists have established successful practices and built rewarding careers in this specialty.


Why is it honorable to be an orthodontist?

Becoming an orthodontist requires a significant investment of time and effort, but for many individuals, the benefits outweigh the costs. Orthodontics is a challenging and rewarding field that allows practitioners to make a positive impact on the lives of their patients. 

Orthodontists have the ability to improve the smiles and self-confidence of their patients, and they also have the opportunity to work with a wide range of patients, from children to adults. Additionally, the field of orthodontics is constantly evolving with new technologies and techniques, allowing orthodontists to stay engaged and continue learning throughout their careers.

Furthermore, orthodontics is a well-compensated profession, with good earning potential and job security. Orthodontists are considered respected and professional in society, and it can be a good choice for those who are passionate about helping people and have an interest in the technical and scientific aspects of the field.

Anyway, this profession is extremely useful for society and solves people’s problems. It has its own unique value, that cannot be compared to other fields of activities. And here are some potential benefits of becoming an orthodontist:

  1. Helping people improve their smiles and self-confidence through the correction of teeth and jaw alignment issues.
  2. Being able to work in a variety of settings, such as private practice, hospitals, or academic institutions.
  3. Having a relatively stable and high-paying career, with good earning potential and job security.
  4. Being able to work with a variety of patients, from children to adults.
  5. Being able to use cutting-edge technology and techniques in the field of dentistry.
  6. Having the opportunity to continue learning and staying up-to-date with the latest developments in orthodontics through ongoing education and professional development.

And those reasons prove all the cool things about this occupation!

by Olena Kukhtyk

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