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Knowing You’re in Good Hands: The Education Needed to Become an Orthodontist

Posted on April 1, 2024

Orthodontists have helped improve the quality of life for countless patients for a very long time. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, the field of orthodontics became the first dental specialty in 1900. Whether you’re drawn to orthodontics due to previous positive experiences or the stability of this career path, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Continue with this article to learn what it takes to become an orthodontist.

High School Education

A high school education is a prerequisite to a career in orthodontics. Aspiring orthodontists are not required to take advanced science or math courses during high school but developing that educational foundation can be helpful. Advanced courses in anatomy, biology, and chemistry should prove especially beneficial.

Undergraduate Education

College is the next part of your journey to becoming an orthodontist. According to Indeed, most dental schools only accept applicants with degrees, so finishing your undergraduate studies will bolster your chances in the orthodontic field. There is no wrong course to choose, but you can put together a more impressive application by taking up a related field in science. You also aren’t required to pick up specific extracurricular activities, but involvement in more organizations and activities is generally regarded as a positive.

Dental Admission Test

After finishing your undergraduate studies, your next step should involve taking the Dental Admission Test. You must pass the Dental Admission Test to enter an accredited dental school. Retaking the Dental Admission Test is an option, but you will have to go through mandatory waiting periods based on your number of attempts.

Dental School

Once you’re done with the Dental Admission Test, you can now send an application to a dental school. Note that dental schools consider the results of the Dental Admission Test, an applicant’s grades, experience, and statements from relevant parties when evaluating an application. Indeed also notes that finishing dental school takes four years, so you should factor this into your education path.

National Board Dental Examination

Completing dental school means you’re ready for the National Board Dental Examination. You can earn your dental license by passing the aforementioned exam. You must also pass clinical tests to obtain your license.

Orthodontics Residency

The last part of your journey requires finishing an accredited orthodontics residency program. Our experts have found that these programs may take two to three years to finish. After completing your residency program, you’ll finally earn your orthodontist license.

Orthodontists offer essential services to their respective communities. You can enter that field after going through the steps detailed in this article. In the meantime, our experienced and highly educated team can take care of your orthodontic needs. Contact Bret Johnson Orthodontics today if you need a check-up or immediate treatment!

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Spokane, WA 99218

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