How Do I Become An Orthodontist?

When you work as an orthodontist, you help improve the appearance of an individual’s teeth for the rest of his or her life. You can make a genuine difference in the lives of patients by making them feel more confident about themselves. Part of your work may involve placing braces on an individual’s teeth. You may also need to take moldings so that a lab can create a retainer for your patient. An orthodontist may also do reconstructive work in improving the functioning of a patient’s jaw. When you are an orthodontist, you can enjoy a fulfilling and highly profitable career. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become an orthodontist?” When you want to become an orthodontist, it is essential for you to realize the type of educational commitment involved in pursuing this career.

What’s it like to be an orthodontist?

When you are an orthodontist, you meet with patients on a daily basis. You may need to diagnose a jaw problem that impedes on a patient’s ability to bite or chew food. A patient may also want to improve the way that his or her smile looks. Orthodontists may also treat jaw disproportions. The typical day of an orthodontist includes meeting patients in scheduled appointments. A patient may want to have a general appointment to make sure that he or she does not have any jaw issues. Other patients may have special cosmetic requests that they have for improving their appearance. An orthodontist may need to spend the day completing an extensive surgery procedure for a patient. The orthodontist may also need to meet with patients after a surgery procedure to ensure that the healing process is going well.

Education Requirements

If you want to become an orthodontist, then you will need to go to dental school. You will also need to have your bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree. You may want to research programs that offer a bachelor’s degree option that leads into automatic acceptance into a dental school program. The competition to get into dental school can be rigorous. When you do attend dental school, you can expect to spend at least four years in a program. You will have to take courses in chemistry, biology, anatomy and other topics relating to the study of dentistry. After you complete a dental program, you will need to pass the Dental Admissions Test. You can not become a practicing dentist until you pass this exam. The College of Dentists Board Examination is another exam that you will need to pass in order to become an orthodontist.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the BLS, the average salary of an orthodontist is about $204,000 a year. If an orthodontist owns his or her own practice, then a salary may exceed millions of dollars. Also, one will be able to earn a higher salary if he or she works as an orthodontist in a large city. To get a job as an orthodontist, one should apply for positions at dental offices. Volunteering one’s time in a clinic is also another way to make valuable connections that can help one get a job at a dental office. One may also decide to start his or her own practice upon graduation from an orthodontics program.