Orthodontists are dental professionals who make millions of people feel more confident by helping with their smiles. While the path to becoming an orthodontist requires many years of education and training, a clear plan can guide you to a rewarding career.
The first step to becoming an orthodontist is to graduate from high school and apply to an undergraduate university. Once you begin your undergraduate studies, you will need to select a major.
The degree you select is not important as long as you are completing the prerequisite courses for dental school. No matter how long it takes you to complete your degree, start applying to dental school the year before you wish to attend. Some students opt to work for a year before beginning further education.
Almost every dental school lasts for another four years of study. During this time you will learn many general aspects of dentistry in addition to your specialization. At the completion of dental school, you are officially a dentist and can begin your orthodontic residency.
Depending on the program, you can expect two or three years of training. At the completion of your residency, you can finally claim the title of orthodontist. In total, this process can take ten to eleven years following high school.