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Which job would you recommend more- becoming a dentist or an orthodontist? Why?

#orthodontist #teeth #dentistry #dental-hygienist #dental-practice #career #career-choice #career-counseling #job-search #career-path #careers #job #college #college-major #college-advice

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Subject: Career question for you

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ellyn’s Answer

To be clear, becoming an orthodontist is a dental specialty, meaning that you would still have to go to dental school to become an orthodontist. That being said, there are many factors to consider, having an affinity or burning desire to treat malocclusion (crooked/crowded teeth) would be the top priority. In dental school you do get some experience in all facets of dentistry, some more than others, but you would be able to see if this was the area about which you are most passionate.


Other factors to consider are, do you want to be an orthodontist or a general dentist who primarily practices in ortho, what is the cost of school (dental school + specialty, as most post-graduate programs do not pay you, or pay you very little), does this fit into your life (do you have a family? do you have adequate support? do you know of an orthodontist with whom you might be able to work?).


So long story short, dentistry has many faces and I think it is an incredible opportunity to give someone a beautiful smile. Try shadowing some doctors to see what fits for you, once you apply to dental school ask the students about how much experience they get in different departments- do they have to hunt down cases themselves or is there adequate amount of patients for all students, determine the financial load that is to be considered with each school, the administration can give you information on this, once in dental school hob nob with the department and ask them for advice, they were in your shoes once too! Attend or create a study club, read ortho papers, present cases, soak up everything you can! Hopefully with all this you'll be able to determine your path.


Good luck!

ellyn recommends the following next steps:

get as involved as you can in learning what specialty may be best for you!
shadow dentists and orthodontists
take the DAT
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your professional advice! Mireia R.
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Richard’s Answer

Getting in dental school will be your first step. During dental school you will get a chance to find out if orthodontics is right for you. Only the top students are accepted into orthodontic training programs.

They are both worthwhile goals. It seems to me that orthodontists have an overall higher quality of life.
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Rachel’s Answer

Both are excellent careers. Only a few dental students at the top of their graduating class are accepted to an orthodontics residency. A good plan would be to become a dental student, do well in your classes, and consider orthodontics after having determined whether you are an acceptable applicant.
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