Who is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist must first complete a 6-year dental undergraduate programme at a university dental school. After a few years of clinical practice and acquiring higher qualifications, they apply to attend a three year full time orthodontic specialist training programme. A research project is also undertaken, leading to a MSc qualification enabling them in order to scentific diagnosis and treatment of malocclusions. Once qualified, orthodontists keep up-to-date with the latest techniques by attending regular courses and conferences as part of their Continuing Professional Development.
All orthodontists are dentists but less than 2% of dentists in Iran are qualified as specialist orthodontists.
The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist
Most people usually know about dentists and what they do but are a little confused when they hear the term orthodontist. The confusion is greater as both a dentist as well as orthodontist address same dental problems (teeth and overall oral health). However, both differ in specialization and the care they provide to dental problems.
Dentists are doctors who have completed their under graduate training at a dental college to be eligible to practice as a dentist. These are doctors that specialize in problems of teeth, gums, tooth decay, repair of damaged tooth and extraction of tooth etc. Orthodontists on the other hand are special dentists who have additionally completed a residency program (3 years) on orthodontic studies after their general graduation. They help people having tooth and jaw alignment problems and are specialists in cosmetic surgery procedures to correct such misalignments. They specialize in diagnosis and treatment of teeth alignment using the latest technology. For a layman, such a doctor addresses the problem of crooked teeth.