Orthodontists are sub-specialists in dentistry who work with patients who wish to straighten crooked teeth. This would be done through the use of a variety of orthodontic tools, including fixed braces and invisalign invisible braces. An orthodontist would need to recommend the best treatment to correct misaligned teeth and then monitor patient progression.
As with dentistry you will need to attain a bachelors degree (BDS or BChD) from an educational institute approved by the General Dental Council (GDC). This will typically last five years. Further education training is required in order to qualify as an orthodontist, but most universities prefer you to gain a couple of years experience before doing so. A three-year postgraduate MSc (Master of Science) in Orthodontic Dentistry would prepare you well for a career in orthodontics.
In order to get onto a degree course you will firstly need to achieve three A Levels at grades AAA or ABB, with subjects including mathematics and one science. To do this, you will need at least five GCSEs graded A – C, preferably including mathematics and science. A degree in dentistry will give you a firm grounding in science and dentistry, while a master’s degree will help you to gain hands-on experience in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment.
Work experience is an asset all students should have and is something admission teams always look out for. This will demonstrate your commitment and show that you have gained experience in a dental environment. If orthodontics is your preferred speciality then it may be a good idea to get work experience at an orthodontic clinic, preferably during your time at college. Both the degree course and masters will include a wealth of work experience
Career pathway after graduation
Once graduated from a dentistry degree course it is preferred by universities that you acquire a couple of years experience before undertaking a masters, after which you can begin work as an associate at an orthodontic clinic. Once enough experience is acquired you can choose to be a partner or possibly even start your own orthodontic clinic.