If you're considering a career in orthodontics, you must first become a dentist. This requires completing college and four years of dental school. If you know you want to pursue dentistry or orthodontics by the end of high school, there are combination dental programs that can reduce the number of years needed to complete college and study dentistry. Before you can specialize in orthodontics, you must finish dental school and become a fully certified dentist.
Dental school consists of four years of intense study, in addition to a bachelor's degree. While a bachelor's degree in a science field is not required for admission to dental school, it is usually necessary to complete courses in biology, chemistry, and other sciences. The university degrees an orthodontist will have are as follows: first, they obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree at an accredited dental school. DDS and DMD degrees are considered to be the same thing. The dentist then applies to a graduate program in orthodontics to earn a master's degree in orthodontics.
Therefore, every orthodontic specialist is a dentist who has studied dentistry.