Essentially an Orthodontic Specialist, or Specialist Orthodontist as they are sometimes called, are dentists who specialise in Orthodontics. How do they do that? Read on to find out…
The first step is getting good A-level grades and gaining entrance into a Dental University to obtain their undergraduate degree. Whilst there, they will spend 5 years practising and learning about all aspects of dentistry, including Paediatric Dentistry, root canal treatments, extractions, crowns, bridges, dentures…covering the whole range of clinical dental care.
Once they’ve successfully obtained their bachelor’s degree in dentistry (BDS or DDS), they then work, gaining a whole host of more in depth experience over several fields of dentistry such as surgical dentistry, in which time they will be required to gain a further post-graduate qualification (MFDS or MJDF).
It is only after this that they can apply for a place on one of the 3-year Orthodontic registrar training courses, of which there are currently 15 in the UK. The specialist training takes place in hospitals linked to university Dental schools and is a full-time program, where the dentist will be treating patients and learning on the job. It is hard work as the registrars must complete an MSc in parallel to their clinical training. However, this means that, upon qualification, the registrars leave with not only membership of one of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons but also their MSc.
What all this extra training means is that an Orthodontic Specialist is in a position to treat a variety of orthodontic cases varying from straightforward alignment of teeth to more complex cases, such as surgery or impacted teeth, using a variety of different systems and techniques.
A list of registered Specialist Orthodontists is available on the GDC website, just enter the Orthodontists GDC number to locate them.