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In 2020, the median income for orthodontists was $208,000. Surely, you can make a good income when you work as an orthodontist, and it is an interesting career to pursue.
Becoming an orthodontist is a wonderful career choice that lets you help people every day. They help people address issues such as crooked teeth, gaps in between teeth, and changes in facial structure. Patients look to orthodontists to correct bite problems and other mouth-related issues.
When you become an orthodontist, you can treat both children as well as adults. Here is an easy-to-follow guide on how to become an orthodontist.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
There are a few basic steps to take in becoming an orthodontist. First, you need to get a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. This is a prerequisite before being admitted to a dental school.
Some schools also accept students who have two years as undergraduates. However, a lot of dental schools only take applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree.
Pass the Dental Admission Test
Before being accepted into an accredited dental school, you need to take first the Dental Admission Test by the American Dental Association. To prepare for the Dental Admission Test, you should study biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics. It would be best if you also took practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam.
Graduate from an Accredited Dental School
In order to become an orthodontist, one must first graduate from an accredited dental school. An orthodontist must first become a dentist.
In the first two years of attending dental school, students learn about human anatomy. They study how dental work affects the different body parts. Then the remaining two years are spent learning and practicing several procedures.
Once you graduate from dental school, you earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. Now, you are ready to proceed to the residency program after passing the National Board Dental Examination.
Pass the National Board Dental Examination
After completing dental school, you must then pass the National Board Dental Examination. This examination comes in two parts. And it covers three days.
The first part of the exam has 400 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers questions from areas like dental anatomy and occlusion, human anatomy, histology, embryology, microbiology, pathology, psychology, and biochemistry.
The second part would take two days. The topics included are endodontics, operative dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and others.
Complete Orthodontics Residency Program
After becoming a licensed dentist, you must complete a 2-3 year residency program in orthodontics. During the residency, orthodontists receive training in diagnosing and treating dental and facial irregularities.
Get an Orthodontist License
States may differ in their requirements. But the common prerequisites include graduating from dental school, passing the national board examination, and the state clinical tests. When you have an orthodontist license, you can also practice general dentistry.
You can now start planning for your dental office. Follow this link to learn more about fantastic orthodontic office design ideas.
Now You Know How to Become an Orthodontist
If you are considering a career in orthodontics, this guide on how to become an orthodontist provides an overview of the profession and what you can expect. Becoming an orthodontist takes dedication and hard work, but the rewards can be significant. If you have the passion and determination, a career in orthodontics can be very rewarding.
If you’re interested in more career advice and industry news, check out some of our other blog posts.