A career as an orthodontist requires a bachelor's degree, completion of dental school and orthodontics training. Undergraduates must pass the Dental Admission Test as a requirement for admission for dental school. Dental school graduates must complete a specialized orthodontics program before applying for a state license to practice orthodontics.
- Receive a bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is necessary for admission to dental school. Orthodontists benefit the most from science degrees or coursework.
- Complete dental school
Pass the Dental Admission Test in order to qualify for dental school. The admission process is competitive, usually requiring a high undergraduate GPA and professor recommendations. Most dental school students complete the program in four years.
- Complete specialized orthodontics training
Complete specialized orthodontics training following dental school. Most programs take three years to finish, and they provide academic and hands-on practice with dentistry and orthodontics.
- Acquire a state license to practice as an orthodontist
Apply for state licenses in order to legally practice as an orthodontist. Find out what type of license is necessary for your state. Some states may require only a general dentistry license to practice orthodontics, while some states require both a general dentistry and an orthodontics specialty license. To obtain a license, pass the necessary dental board examinations, and complete the required residency hours.