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I want to be an orthodontist, do I have to relate any classes to dentistry during my 4 years of college?

I know I would have to major in a science such as biology or chemistry, but is that it? I guess what I'm trying to say is, I can go from not learning anything about teeth in 4 years, to dental school for another 4 years? #dentistry #college #orthodontist #confusedstudent #helpwouldbenice

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Maya’s Answer

Hi Hala!
I know it may be weird but technically yes, you can go from knowing nothing about teeth to going to dental school. However, whatever you decide to major in, the college you attend may have electives in your major relating to dentistry. Like I said this is going to depend on your school and major but dental schools don't expect you to know everything about dentistry before you go there. Just like medical students don't really learn anything about medicine before medical school, dental students don't really learn too much about teeth before dental school. Once you are in college and you are starting to look for dental schools to apply to, those schools are going to each have a list of required courses to apply to the school and so as long as you fulfill those requirements, you can go ahead and apply to dental school. Again I know it feels weird that you will be going into school without any of that dental knowledge but your undergraduate education is meant to teach you the basics that way you can apply that knowledge to more specialized/ difficult topics in graduate schools.

Thank you for taking time to answer! I greatly appreciate your wisdom and feel much better about my future goals Hala R.

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Lisa’s Answer

Dear Hala,

It’s great that you are considering becoming an orthodontist! It’s a very rewarding career.

The link below includes a great article about what it takes to become an orthodontist. To briefly summarize, you’ll first need to go to dental school and then complete an orthodontic-related residency. You can major in anything you’d like in college as long as you take the courses that are required to get into dental school. So it may be beneficial for you to start looking into dental school as the next phase of your research so you know what that looks like and plan accordingly. I would recommend the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) for that!


I hope this helps!