If you watch television, you may have noticed a series of ads produced by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). In them, viewers are reminded that they should only use the services of an orthodontist for braces treatment. So what exactly is an orthodontist? The information below should help: 


All orthodontists are dentists who have graduated from an accredited dental school. 


Like physicians, dentists have the option of practicing in a more specialized field of dentistry. The American Dental Association (ADA) currently recognizes nine specialties. In addition to orthodontics, dentists can choose to focus on other branches like pediatrics or periodontics (gums). To become an orthodontist, a dental school graduate must  complete an accredited orthodontic residency program. They are two to three years long and may culminate in a master's degree. 

Professional memberships 

Although not a requirement to practice orthodontics, being a member of professional organizations like ADA and the AAO shows that an orthodontist is staying up to date with changes in the profession. In order to be a member of the AAO, a dentist must have graduated from an orthodontic residency program. 

Knowledge and continuing education 

An orthodontist's job may seem as simple as fixing a few crooked teeth, but a lot of work goes into realigning the teeth and correcting a bite. During their residencies, orthodontists learn more than just how to place braces on the teeth – their knowledge base has to cover extensively how the teeth and jaw move. Orthodontists are also regularly learning about the best new appliances and practices for their use. 

If you're interested in meeting with an orthodontist in New York City, the staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists would be happy to speak with you. 

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