A specialist orthodontist must first qualify as a dentist, and then undertakes a three year, full-time post-graduate study in orthodontics. All orthodontists are dentists but about 3% of dentists in the UK are qualified as specialist orthodontists.
From Orthodontics Australia on behalf of the Australian Society of Orthodontists’
How an orthodontist registers
An orthodontist must first complete a 5 year dental undergraduate programme at a university dental school. After a few years of clinical practice and acquiring higher qualifications (F.D.S. or M.F.D.S.) they apply to attend a three year full time orthodontic specialist training programme, which leads to the M.Orth.RCS. qualification.
This qualification entitles them to be included on the General Dental Council’s orthodontic specialist list. A research project is also undertaken, leading to a MSc or M.Phil.(Orth) qualification.
Once qualified, orthodontists keep up-to-date with the latest techniques by attending regular courses and conferences as part of their Continuing Professional Development.
The GDC orthodontic specialist list includes:
- Orthodontic specialists with an M.Orth.RCS. qualification (or the older D.Orth. RCS).
- Dentists who were “Grandfathered”.
- Those who received their orthodontic training in the EU member states, can automatically apply to be included on this list.
You can check the GDC website to see if the clinician providing orthodontics is a specialist.
More information about orthodontics from the American Association of Orthodontists