The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the demand for orthodontists will increase by around 20 percent from 2008 through 2018. Prospective orthodontists complete four years of general dentistry school, graduating with either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Then, dentists must return to school to complete a second training program in orthodontics, which typically takes three years. A small number of dental colleges in the United States offer programs for would-be orthodontists.
University of Kentucky College of Dentistry
The University of Kentucky is a public institution based in Lexington. The college of dentistry opened in 1962 and has approximately 30 students in its graduate programs like orthodontics, according to the university's website, as of October 2010.
The orthodontics programs lasts for 34 months and awards a Master of Science degree in dental sciences and a certificate of completion in orthodontics. During the course of the program, students participate in six clinical placements in the university's on-site clinic and off campus. Among the classes required for the degree are child growth and development, oral and pharyngeal function, periodontal therapy, epidemiology and oral pathology. All students must complete a research thesis and serve as teaching assistants for three dental sciences courses prior to graduation. A limited number of fellowships and scholarships are available.
University of Florida College of Dentistry
The University of Florida College of Dentistry is located on its Health Sciences campus in Gainesville. A public institution, the school of dentistry opened in 1972. The university is known for its dental public health programs; the school provides 10 percent of all care to low-income populations in Florida, reports the college's website.
The college of dentistry offers a 35-month Master of Science training program in dental medicine with a certificate in orthodontics. Clinical rotations at the university's on-site dental clinic occur throughout the program; by graduation, students typically have provided treatment for roughly 100 patients. Orthodontics students take classes in diagnosis and treatment planning, biology and biostatistics, orthotic appliances and practice management. A master's thesis is required for graduation, and students are expected to present their research at national and state conferences. All students typically receive a financial aid stipend for their first year of the program.
University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry
The University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry is a public dental school. The college conducts more than 123,000 patient visits per year at its 14 clinics in the San Francisco Bay area.
The college's 36-month orthodontics Master of Science and certificate program admits new students annually in July. Clinical rotations occur throughout the orthodontics program, and all students have the opportunity to work with adult and pediatric patients. Students must complete a master's thesis to graduate.
Dentists who wish to teach orthodontics at the college level rather than practice as an orthodontist pursue the university's Ph.D. degree in oral and craniofacial sciences. The program is open to students with a DDS or DMD degree and allows them to earn their master's while completing the Ph.D. requirements. A dissertation is required for this program. Scholarships, fellowships and other financial aid are available for qualified students; the college does not guarantee funding.