How to Become an Orthodontist?

4 minute read

Did you know for teeth or jaws alignment, there are specialized doctors known as orthodontists? While for overall dental care and oral hygiene, an orthodontist helps you get that perfect smile with the help of jaws and teeth alignment.  As per US News, an orthodontist is among the top 10 medical professions and the demand is expected to grow by 21% in the next 5 years globally. Let’s explore how to become an orthodontist, top courses, universities, eligibility and more.

Who is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentistry specialist who is trained to diagnose, prevent, and correct mal-positioned teeth, jaws and misaligned bite patterns. An orthodontist treats patients of all ages, from children to adults. Some of the most used treatments by orthodontists are Dental Braces and Retainers. 

Orthodontic Braces- Source: Newcastle University

What does an Orthodontist do?

Typical job responsibilities of an Orthodontist are as mentioned:

  • Identifying a patient’s dental problems
  • Using various diagnostic tests to determine the condition of patients’ teeth
  • Learning about patient’s past records, including dental histories, plaster models of teeth, and X-rays to develop treatment plans for patients
  • Developing treatment plans and discussing cost estimates with patients
  • Instructing assistants on orthodontic procedures and techniques
  • Collaborating with other specialists, such as dentists and oral surgeons, to conduct orthodontic services within the overall treatment plan
  • Scheduling regular checkups with patients for various reasons such as tightening braces, and tracking patient’s progress
  • Explaining orthodontics and various oral hygiene methods for maintaining good oral health.

Skills Required for a Career in Orthodontics

  • Ability to work and communicate with children and teenagers, as they are the majority of orthodontics patients who need teeth alignment and braces
  • Ability to explain complex concepts in a clear and simple manner
  • Must be compassionate, patient and an active listener
  • Must have effective communication and leadership skills when working with dental assistants
  • Must be updated with the latest industry developments and procedures to apply them to patients as per their needs

Orthodontist vs Dentist

Both the dental professionals help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. An orthodontist is responsible for correcting bites, occlusion, and helping patients to align their teeth. An orthodontist is a specialized dentist that helps patients with the following issues:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

A dentist deals with a broad range of dental issues related to teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw. A dentist offers services such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canals
  • Gum disease
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening

Check Out: How to Become a Dentist?

How to Become an Orthodontist: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Choose Science Stream in High School

Opt for a science stream in Class XII with biology, anatomy, physics, mathematics and both organic and inorganic chemistry as subjects. 

Step 2: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for being admitted to a dental school. So get a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Surgery from an institution, recognised by the Dental Council of India.

Step 3: Earn a Master’s Degree

Earning a Masters in Dental Surgery -MDS (Orthodontics) is a mandatory requirement for becoming an Orthodontist. Gain experience, training and internships while studying MDS.

Step 4: Apply for a Job or Internship

After MDS in orthodontics you can apply for jobs/internships in public and private clinics, hospitals and more. 

Top Universities for Orthodontics Abroad 

Top Colleges for Orthodontics in India

Here’s a list of some of the best colleges in India for BDS and MDS in Orthodontics:

  • King George’s Medical University
  • Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Maulana Azad Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Postgraduate Institute of Dental Sciences
  • Christian Dental College
  • Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University

Orthodontist Salary

The table below mentions the average salary of an Orthodontist in various countries:

Country Average Salary per annum In INR
India INR 5,81,894
Australia AUD 113,383 60,93,203
UK £75,912 72,28,096
USA USD 192,726 1,48,89,432
Canada CAD 150,990 89,85,735


Who is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who helps patients with mal-positioned teeth, jaws and misaligned bite patterns.

How long does it take to become an Orthodontist?

The duration varies from country to country. It can take up to ten years to become an orthodontist. The journey includes undergraduate to postgraduate studies with certifications, internships and finally receiving a license to become a certified Orthodontist.

Is an orthodontist different than a dentist?

Both help patients improve their oral health through different ways. An orthodontist will help you align your crooked teeth while a dentist will help you with your cavities.

If you possess these skills and want to help people achieve their perfectly aligned teeth, then this career might be for you! Are you planning to study abroad? Our Leverage Edu experts will help you find the right course for you. Call us at 1800 57 2000 to book your FREE 30-minutes counseling session today!

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