So You Want to be an Orthodontist?

Do you ever wonder how braces work? Are you interested in being the person who puts braces on others? If you enjoy your experience with the orthodontist, it might just be an excellent career for you in the future. Being an orthodontist can be an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career for anyone interested in the placement of teeth. If you enjoy helping people look and feel their best and are up for the challenge, consider setting your sights on becoming an orthodontist. Of course it is hard work and does take more schooling than just four years of college, but it is also a great opportunity for bright young minds to learn and explore a fast paced career with endless benefits.

The first step in becoming an orthodontist is to complete a bachelor’s degree. Choosing to major in something science related such as chemistry, biology, or physics while earning your bachelor’s degree is highly recommended when planning to be an orthodontist. Learning as much as possible in the science field early on can be extremely beneficial to any future doctor. Towards the end of earning your bachelor’s degree, you will apply to dental school and get ready to continue your education with other students who share your passion for teeth.

After earning your bachelor’s degree, the next step in becoming an orthodontist is actually attending dental school. Students in dental school can go on to complete four years of full-time study to earn the Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine. Orthodontist’s need to know as much about teeth as possible before they learn about shifting teeth into place using braces and other orthodontic services. Being in dental school with other aspiring orthodontists as well as braces is when you will learn how to treat patients and get experience working in the medical field.

The first two years of dental school are typically spent learning general dental science in classes and labs and the second two are spent gaining experience working with patients and getting the feel for being a real doctor. Dental school exposes students to a variety of specialties beyond just dentistry such as orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and maxillofacial surgery. So not only will you get to learn about general dentistry, you will have a baseline understanding of other specialties and the first building block of orthodontics down.

A Postgraduate Orthodontics Program is the final step of schooling in the journey of becoming an orthodontist. Most of these programs last three years and after completing, you will be qualified dental specialist in orthodontics, an official orthodontist. During this final step you will learn about tooth movement, how to work with braces, and how teeth affect the entire face.

Of all doctors, people typically do not mind going to the orthodontist because they want to perfect their smiles and get their braces off as soon as possible. Having an orthodontist appointment means progress through treatment and getting closer to the final result. The American Dental Association quoted Mike Meru, an orthodontist in Utah saying “Orthodontics is unique because it combines many of the other fields of dentistry and combines them into a result that is natural, functional and cosmetically beautiful. Patients for the most part love coming to see me!”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are roughly 5,410 orthodontists in the U.S and each earn about $106.44 an hour. The majority of practicing orthodontists are currently in California, which is home to two of the top ranked dental schools, University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry and University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry. The field has plenty of room for growth and opportunity across the country and schools are happily accepting eager dental students worldwide to help them fulfill their career goals.

Dr. Reddick is an excellent example of working hard through school and becoming a successful orthodontist. He received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology and cell science as well as his doctorate of dental medicine from the University of Florida and his master’s degree in orthodontics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. If you are interested in pursuing a career in orthodontics he would be happy to speak with you about the benefits of working with wonderful patients and dedicating your time to the constantly growing world of orthodontics.