Training of Orthodontics
Many countries have their own systems for training and registering orthodontic specialists. A two- to four-year period of full-time post-graduate study is required for a dentist to qualify as an orthodontist.
In Iran, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is known as a specialty since 1978 and general dentists after participating in a comprehensive national exam (which is held once a year) and fulfill good rankings among all participants, can begin their postgraduate course. After three years of postgraduate academic training, students participate in a national board exam for final evaluation and finally if they can reach the determined scores, they will be recognized as specialist orthodontists. Iranian Association of Orthodontists (IAO) is established in 1978 and has been contributed in several national and international congresses since its establishment.
In order to be enrolled as a student or a resident in Advanced Education in Orthodontics approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the dentist must have graduated with a DDS, DMD, BDS or equivalent. In the U.S., the orthodontics residency duration lasts between 24 – 48 months long. The orthodontic residency typically award Certificate (non-degree), a Master of Science degree, or Doctor of Science degree, depending on its research requirements. The class size, tuition, stipend and number of patients seen and treated will all depend on the location of the program (hospital vs. university). Each training program has its own goals and treatment philosophy, however, most U.S. orthodontic programs focus on fixed straight wire appliances. All the graduates must also complete the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) examinations.
In order to become a Board Certified orthodontist, the practicing orthodontist must present six cases that have been treated entirely by the orthodontist to the ABO examiners. Once certified, the certificate is renewed every 10 years and the practitioner can add the title “Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics”.
In the United Kingdom, this training period lasts three years, after completion of a membership from a Royal College. A further two years is then completed to train to consultant level, after which a fellowship examination from the Royal College is sat. In other parts of Europe, a similar pattern is followed. It is always worth contacting the professional body responsible for registering orthodontists to ensure that the orthodontist you wish to consult is a recognised specialist.
A number of dental schools and hospitals offer advanced education in the specialty of Orthodontics to dentists seeking postgraduate education. The courses range from two to three years (with the majority being 3 years) of full-time classes in the theoretical and practical aspects of orthodontics together with clinical experience. Generally, admission is based on an application process followed by an extensive interviewing process by the institution, in order to select the best candidates. Candidates usually have to contact the individual school directly for the application process.