Becoming an orthodontist requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The journey starts with completing a bachelor's degree at an accredited university. While the type of degree isn't necessarily important, science degrees are common due to the biology and chemistry prerequisites that must be completed before enrolling in a dental school. After completing the necessary coursework, the orthodontist will receive a limited-time certificate. Once the certificate is obtained, the orthodontist must pass a clinical exam in order to become certified or maintain their certification.
This exam is administered by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) and is designed to assess the orthodontist's knowledge and skills in the field. The exam consists of two parts: a written portion and a clinical portion. The written portion covers topics such as diagnosis, treatment planning, and patient management. The clinical portion requires the orthodontist to demonstrate their ability to diagnose and treat patients. The ABO also offers a voluntary Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program for orthodontists who wish to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field.
This program requires orthodontists to complete continuing education courses, participate in research projects, and pass periodic exams. The MOC program is designed to ensure that orthodontists are providing the highest quality of care to their patients. In summary, becoming an orthodontist requires passing a clinical exam administered by the ABO. This exam is necessary for both initial certification and maintaining certification through the MOC program. By passing this exam, orthodontists can ensure that they are providing the best possible care for their patients.