Picking a career is more than going through a wish list and lifting one out of many. It needs commitment, passion, and understanding of what you are going into. In this article, we have picked one of these career paths and have placed it under the microscope for your understanding.
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Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist in dentistry whose sole purpose is to treat, handle and correct irregularities of teeth by employing braces. He differs from regular dentists in such a way that he only focuses on straightening teeth while the dentist deals with every other facet of oral hygiene such as the gums, nerves, and oral diseases. It’s like saying, the mouth is to the dentist and the teeth to the orthodontist.
How to become an orthodontist
A career in orthodontics is not one to be taken lightly or over a whimsical wish. An aspiring orthodontist needs all the attention he can give on actualizing this dream. Simply put, it’s not a child’s play. It takes ten years to become an authorized orthodontist.
Here is a step by step guide to becoming an orthodontist:
- Bachelor’s degree: the first step would be to get a bachelor’s degree in any science related course. Most times, orthodontists major in biology or chemistry. Here, there is no strict guideline on the scope you must cover. What matters more is that you bag a degree in science.
- Dental school: after bagging that bachelor’s degree in any science related course, you will need to apply to a dental school where you would study for four years. A successful journey in a dental school would see you become a Doctor of Dental medicine (D.M.D) or doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S).
- Postdoctoral program: after your dental school, you should apply to a postdoctoral program which is devoted to the practice of orthodontics. This is where you begin to hear words like residency. Yes, at this stage you become a resident doctor.
- However, to become a practicing orthodontist, you must pass an exam set by the American Board of Orthodontics.
- After this exam, you are now a certified practicing orthodontist.