How To Become An Orthodontist (2023)

Want to become an orthodontist? Well, you have picked your career path but do you know what it takes to become an orthodontist? If not then you have found the perfect place to look for the answers.
In this article, we are going to tell you how to become an orthodontist, what skills and education you will require to become an orthodontist, and what it would be like to be an orthodontist. Let us first tell you who is an orthodontist and what they do.

Who is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a professional who deals with the treatment of teeth alignment. They have specialized in diagnosing various dental conditions such as misalignment of teeth and jaws, overbite, occlusion, and overcrowded mouths. Based on the diagnosis, an orthodontist would come up with several treatments and procedures which need to be performed for various dental conditions.

An orthodontist would primarily deal with children but they can treat adults too. In simpler words, they are the doctor for teeth and make sure we have a nice smile! Becoming an orthodontist is a long way to go. You will have to spend almost 10 years to become an orthodontist.  The journey starts from high school and ends with you becoming a licensed and certified orthodontist who will be ready to practice. Here are the following steps that you would need to take in order to become an orthodontist.

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1. High School

As we have said earlier that this journey of yours would start with your high school. You need to be graduated with science-related subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, and even maths. So if you are thinking of a career as an orthodontist, you should get graduated with these subjects. Because you won’t get an entrance to a dental school if you haven’t read these subjects in the first place.

2. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Now you will have to get a bachelor’s degree to pursue your career as an orthodontist. This comes under the pre-dental requirements as an undergraduate. Again you should have all the science-related majors as you are studying to complete your undergraduate. There should be other activities and extracurricular activities included in your course so it would become a little easier to get entrance to a dental school. You should get good grades in your undergraduate to get admission to the top dental schools in your country.

3. Take Dental Admission Test

To get admission to a dental school you will have to take the DAT or Dental Admission Test, it is also referred to as the Dental Aptitude Test.

The test would consist of many sections including Biology, Chemistry, along with reasoning, reading comprehension, and perceptual ability. The subject and marks distribution may vary in different states. You should start preparing for this test from your high school.

4. Dental School

If you have passed your DAT then you would take admission to a dental school based on your marks. Before becoming an orthodontist, you would have to become a dentist first. And the dental school would make you a dentist and then you can choose orthodontics as your specialty.

The school would last for four years, during this time, the first two years would focus on the general science and anatomy of teeth. In the latter two years, you would be learning the basic aspects of dentistry and students would work under the supervision of licensed dentists. They would learn how the various procedures are performed and how to manage the patients as well.

5. Get License

Now that you have passed your dental school you will require to get your license. They have to appear before the board that grants a dental license and proof they are worthy of it by taking tests and interviews.

6. Residency

The next step would be to take up residency in an orthodontic hospital or clinic. You would learn a great deal about handling patients, applying your methods and knowledge in the procedures, and how to diagnose and treat the patients. The residency can last up to 2 to 4 years.

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7. Orthodontist license

The earlier license was for dental practice and this license would be specifically for practicing orthodontics.

After you have completed your residency, you would have to appear before the board and take up the test. If you pass each test, you will get an orthodontist license. You can also call up your state dental board and see if you need a separate license to practice orthodontics in your state.

8. Certification

Although getting a certificate in orthodontics is optional, you should certainly get it. There are a few places that only give jobs to certified orthodontists. A certificate lasts for a limited period so you will have to keep renewing it again and again. Overall, it would be helpful to get a job at a fine hospital or clinic.

9. Find a Job

Now that you have a license to practice orthodontics and you are also a certified orthodontist, there is nothing left but to find a job. Just look for the hospitals and clinics that are hiring orthodontists and apply there for a job. Consider the salary, added benefits, and location while finalizing your job offers.


That would be all you would need to become an orthodontist. Just focus on your studies at every step of the preparation and you would become a succubus orthodontist. It is a reputable job with a handsome salary so you would certainly put your efforts into becoming an orthodontist.