It would be wonderful if some of our patients could be inspired during their treatment to consider Orthodontics as a profession! So, let us tell you a little about the process. There are three steps in an orthodontist’s education: college, dental school, and orthodontic school.
Similar to becoming a medical specialist, such as a surgeon or an internist, orthodontists complete an orthodontic residency program for two to three years after dental school.
While there’s some instruction regarding orthodontics in dental school, it is minimal. It’s in the orthodontic residency program that orthodontists receive intensive instruction to learn proper, safe tooth movement (orthodontics) and the guidance of dental, jaw and facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). These extra years of education make the orthodontist the dental specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws. This is the only focus of their practice.