Orthodontics offers a bright future all round!
Consciously or not, we judge people in seconds of a first meeting by their face, especially their eyes and their smile. A smile can speak volumes; about their physical health, and their character and this is where orthodontic treatment can step in. Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry which corrects irregularities of the teeth or developing jaws in order to improve both the function and appearance of the mouth and face. Combined with regular dental maintenance, successful orthodontic treatment can be life changing for people of all ages. Like most medical career paths, orthodontics offers an intellectually stimulating, challenging, creative and rewarding working environment, where people skills are vital and opportunities abound like working in a specialist high street practice, running your own business, working in a hospital, a community clinic or teaching orthodontics in a University. With a high demand for orthodontists there are plenty of opportunities for full-time or part-time work. If you are seriously considering working in this branch of dentistry, we advise you spend some time with an orthodontist first.
Becoming an orthodontist
Orthodontists can change people’s lives for the better. Your road to becoming a specialist in this field starts with good A level grades, generally ABB, to secure a place at University to study dentistry. It usually takes five years to become a dentist and obtain a degree in Dentistry (the Bachelor of Dental Surgery or BDS degree). After qualifying, work as a dentist and gain experience in all fields of dentistry. Apply for a place on an orthodontic training scheme. This training takes a further 3 years of study and consists of both academic and practical training. At the end of this, if you are successful in the Membership in Orthodontics examination (M.Orth), you will become a specialist orthodontist.
Want to study dentistry? The Universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Central Lancashire, Dundee, Exeter and Plymouth, Glasgow, King’s College London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Queen Mary (London), Queen’s (Belfast) and Sheffield have dental schools where you can study to become a dentist. Applications are made via UCAS.
Training to be an orthodontist? Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, King’s College London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and UCL Eastman Dental Institute all offer orthodontic training and qualifications.
What are my options? Work as a specialist in orthodontic practice Or train for a further two years in a hospital to gain the Fellowship of Dental Surgery in Orthodontics (FDS Orth.) and become a hospital orthodontic consultant, allowing you also to become a cleft orthodontic consultant who specializes in treating patients with facial disfigurement. Or train for a further four years in a hospital/university and gain a PhD degree to lecture. You can train to take up one of a variety of skilled and highly rewarding positions, ranging from;
- Dental Lab Technician
- Oral Health Educator
- Orthodontic Therapist
- Dental Radiographer
- Treatment Coordinator
- Practice Management
- Dental Receptionist