Becoming an Orthodontist requires a significant investment of time and effort, but it can be a rewarding and lucrative career path for those who are committed to providing high-quality dental care to patients.
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat dental and facial irregularities. They use braces, retainers, and other appliances to straighten teeth and correct bite problems.
Examining patients: Orthodontists examine patients' teeth, jaws, and facial structures to diagnose dental and bite problems.
Developing treatment plans: Based on the diagnosis, orthodontists develop individualized treatment plans for each patient, which may include the use of braces, retainers, or other appliances.
Fitting and adjusting appliances: Orthodontists fit and adjust braces, retainers, and other appliances to ensure proper alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Monitoring treatment progress: Orthodontists monitor patients' progress during treatment and make adjustments to the appliances as necessary.
Educating patients: Orthodontists educate patients on proper oral hygiene, diet, and other aspects of care that are important for the success of the treatment.
Collaborating with other dental professionals: Orthodontists often work closely with general dentists, oral surgeons, and other dental specialists to provide comprehensive care to patients.
Keeping up to date with advancements in orthodontic technology: Orthodontists must stay informed about advancements in orthodontic technology and techniques to provide the best possible care to their patients.
In addition to these core responsibilities, orthodontists may also be involved in research and teaching, as well as administration and management of their practice.
Complete a bachelor's degree in dentistry: You need to complete a five-year Bachelor of Dental Science (BDSc) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree program at a recognized university.
Register with AHPRA: After completing your dental degree, you must register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to become a registered dental practitioner.
Complete an orthodontic program: After registering with AHPRA, you need to complete a two- to three-year full-time postgraduate orthodontic program approved by the Australian Dental Council (ADC).
Pass the ADC Orthodontic Examinations: Once you have completed the postgraduate orthodontic program, you must pass the ADC Orthodontic Examinations to be eligible for registration as a specialist orthodontist in Australia.
Complete supervised practice: After passing the ADC Orthodontic Examinations, you need to complete a period of supervised practice, during which you work under the supervision of a registered specialist orthodontist.
Maintain professional registration: To maintain your registration as a specialist orthodontist in Australia, you must comply with the continuing professional development requirements set by the ADC.
In addition to these steps, you will also need to demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills, manual dexterity, and the ability to work effectively in a team environment.