Becoming an orthodontist is a long road through school. It usually takes approximately 12 years of formal university education to become a certified specialist in orthodontics!
Your university career will begin with a four-year bachelor's degree, usually a Bachelor of Science degree. You will then apply and gain entrance into dental school, which takes another four years to complete. There are 10 dental schools in Canada, and 66 dental schools in the United States. Check them out here.
After eight years of university, you will be a general dentist! Some dentists choose to pursue a dental specialty such as orthodontics, which requires an additional three-year Master of Science degree and residency program. Other specialties include pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, periodontics, and endodontics. Many schools require an additional one to two years of work experience as a general dentist, or formal training prior to entering a specialty residency, such as a hospital residency.
There are seven dental schools in Canada that offer a graduate program in orthodontics, each school accepting only three to five residents each year - less than 30 positions across the country!
Once you graduate from your dental specialty residency program, you will write the National Dental Specialty Board certification examination, governed by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. Upon passing this examination, you are then officially a certified specialist in orthodontics in Canada!
Here's how Dr. Chow's long scholarly road looks:
- Bachelor of Science (Biology), University of Western Ontario
- Doctorate of Dental Medicine, University of British Columbia
- General Practice Residency, University of Michigan
- Master of Science (Orthodontics) and Orthodontics Residency, University of Toronto
- Fellow, Royal College of Dentists of Canada