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What is a Specialist?

An orthodontist is a trained specialist in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. To become a specialist in orthodontics requires approximately eleven years of formal education after graduation from high school.

what is a specialist

Orthodontists spend four years at an undergraduate college, followed by a four-year graduate program at a university dental school or other institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA). At this point, the individual is awarded either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree enabling him or her to practice general (family) dentistry.

what is a specialist

Typically, specialty training in orthodontics requires the completion of a post doctoral program consisting of three more years in an advanced education orthodontic residency program in addition to the four years required to become a general (family) dentist. Through this extensive training, the orthodontist learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

All orthodontists are dentists, but according to the American Dental Association, only about six percent of dentists complete this advanced specialty education and may call themselves orthodontists.