Obtaining a certification in orthodontic care requires a significant amount of dedication and hard work. To become an orthodontist, you must first obtain a bachelor's degree and then pursue a professional degree in dentistry. After completing four years of dental school, you must then complete a graduate training program or an orthodontic residency. Once you have fulfilled the educational requirements, you must apply for a license from the state licensing board in order to practice orthodontics.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state. Board certification is an optional but rigorous achievement that not all orthodontists choose to pursue. Becoming board certified requires two to three additional years of education and passing an exam. The renewal of the certification provides an opportunity for board-certified orthodontists to continue their training, stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, and reevaluate their approach and critical case evaluation. The benefits of becoming an orthodontist are numerous. Orthodontists enjoy high salaries, an excellent work-life balance, and a friendly and sociable teamwork environment.
Furthermore, all orthodontists can now go through the certification process regardless of their practice environment and where they are in their career. Once you have successfully completed the exam, you will be awarded a new certificate with an expiration date of ten years from the original expiration date, regardless of when the renewal process is completed. This is necessary in order to maintain your Board's certification status.