Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry which corrects irregularities of the teeth or developing jaws in order to improve both the function and appearance of the mouth and face.
Successful treatment along with regular dental maintenance can be life changing for people, many of whom will be children and teenagers. No surprise then that orthodontics offers a challenging, intellectually stimulating, creative and rewarding career path, where a natural affinity with patients, is key. Another attraction of a career in orthodontics is the diversity of working environments and opportunities. A specialist high street practice might appeal, or running your own business. Perhaps working in a Hospital, a Community clinic or teaching Orthodontics in a University is the direction you want to go in. With a serious shortage of orthodontists in the country there are plenty of opportunities for full-time or part-time work. If you are seriously considering working in this branch of dentistry, do spend some time with an orthodontist to find out if this could be the career you are looking for.
At Wells orthodontics we offer placements for children on school work experience who are interested in a career in orthodontistry and have been delighted by the number who have followed this as their career path.
Becoming an orthodontist…
Orthodontists are in huge demand and can change people’s lives for the better. Your road to becoming a specialist in this field starts with good A level grades, generally ABB, to secure a place at University to study dentistry. It usually takes five years to become a dentist and obtain a degree in Dentistry (the Bachelor of Dental Surgery or BDS degree). After qualifying, work as a dentist and gain experience in all fields of dentistry. Apply for a place on an orthodontic training scheme. This training takes a further 3 years of study and consists of both academic and practical training. At the end of this, if you are successful in the Membership in Orthodontics examination (M.Orth), you will become a specialist orthodontist.
I was really impressed with the level of skill and knowledge all the staff demonstrated during my time at this very busy practice. From meeting the general public, sitting in on treatments to making my very own retainer, I was always able to talk to the clinicians to ask questions and seek advice about my own career path. I was inspired by their dedication and passion for their profession and for their patients. I now have real motivation to get the A levels I will need to start my training in a career that offers plenty of diverse opportunities and job satisfaction.”
– Gabby Thompson
Where can I study dentistry? The Universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Central Lancashire, Dundee, Exeter and Plymouth, Glasgow, King’s College London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Queen Mary (London), Queen’s (Belfast) and Sheffield have dental schools where you can study to become a dentist. Applications are made via UCAS.
Hi Helen, I wanted to let you know that last week I got an offer to study dentistry at Sheffield University. I’m finishing my A Levels at the moment, and I’ll start in September. Thank you all so much for the help you gave me when I came for work experience last year.”
– Rebecca Rowntree
Where can I train to be an orthodontist? Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, King’s College London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and UCL Eastman Dental Institute.
What are my options? Work as a specialist in orthodontic practice. Or train for a further two years in a hospital to gain the Fellowship of Dental Surgery in Orthodontics (FDS Orth.) and become a hospital orthodontic consultant, which will also allow you to become a cleft orthodontic consultant who specializes in treating patients with facial disfigurement. Or train for a further four years in a hospital/university and study for a PhD degree in order to work in the university. Or work as a specialist in the Community Dental Service.
But the career options don’t just end there, within this field you can train to take up one of a variety of skilled and highly rewarding positions, ranging from;