Are you considering a career in dentistry? Do you have a passion for orthodontics?
If so, you might be asking yourself a question: “how do I become an orthodontist?” It’s a great question.
Becoming an orthodontist is a fulfilling career, one that provides a lot of personal as well as professional benefits. Yet, there are quite a few hoops to jump through to become one. Here’s a basic guide on how to become an orthodontist.
Education and Training
In order to become an orthodontist, you must first complete an accredited dental program. It is a specialized form of dental education that prepares students for a career in orthodontics. This type of program typically takes place at a dental school that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
After completing dental school, you must then complete a 2-3 year residency program in orthodontics. It is a postdoctoral educational program that focuses on training dentists in the specialty of orthodontics. During your residency, you will receive hands-on training in diagnosing and treating patients with dental abnormalities.
License to Practice
After completing dental school and residency program, one must then pass both a written and clinical examination in order to be licensed to practice orthodontics. One must pass both state and national licensure exams.
Orthodontists must be licensed in the state in which they practice. The clinical exam tests the orthodontist’s knowledge and skills in performing various orthodontic procedures.
Salary and Job Outlook
The median salary for orthodontists in the United States in 2020 was $208,000. The job outlook for orthodontists is good, with an expected growth rate of 8% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
There are several factors that contribute to this expected growth, including an aging population and an increased emphasis on dental aesthetics. In addition, as orthodontic technology advances, more orthodontists will be needed to provide these services.
Skills and Competencies
The skills and competencies of an orthodontist are vast and varied. They must have a deep understanding of the human skeleton and musculature, as well as the physiology of the teeth and jaws. They must be able to use this knowledge to diagnose and treat dental and skeletal abnormalities.
An orthodontist must also be skilled in the use of orthodontic appliances, such as braces, and be able to adjust them to correct the patient’s malocclusion. They must have excellent communication skills, both in order to explain complex treatment plans to patients and their families and to work effectively with other members of the dental team.
Finally, they must be able to keep up with the latest advances in their field, in order to provide the best possible care for their patients. Having a welcoming and stylish office is also important to adapt to trends. See this orthodontic office design to give you some ideas.
Start Your Path on How to Become an Orthodontist
There are a few basic steps on how to become an orthodontist. Firstly, you will need to obtain a degree in dentistry from an accredited institution. Once you have graduated, you will need to complete a residency program in orthodontics in order to be eligible to sit for the American Board of Orthodontics exams.
Upon passing the exams, you will be officially an orthodontist. You can start choosing a career path to become a superstar orthodontist!
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