Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that strives to align the teeth to improve a patient's appearance and/or the function of his or her bite. To become an orthodontist, individuals must complete dental school as well as several years of additional training specifically in the field of orthodontics. Continuing education credits might be required for licensure renewals, but this is regulated differently within each state.
Classes in orthodontics can be found at accredited dental schools throughout the nation, and there are many organizations that provide approved online and in-person continuing education coursework. Training in this field may include in-class lectures as well as clinical lab experience with real patients. During both regular and continuing education orthodontics courses, students may review the following:
- Facial morphology
- The neuromuscular system
- Patient care and treatment options
- Maxillofacial structures
- Connections between different dentistry specialties
List of Courses
Orthodontics, Esthetics and Occlusion Class
The class considers how the theory of the human body as a self-regulating system affects dental and orthodontic treatments. Discussions examine methods of balancing the esthetics of a pleasant smile with the need to correct teeth and mouth problems to improve dental functions. Additional topics include osteopathic cranial classifications, the Function Matrix Hypothesis (FMH) and temporomandibular functions.
Orthodontics Business Planning Class
Instructors present information about developing and growing a successful orthodontic practice. They cover the importance of customer service, strong communication skills and building patient relationships when planning a practice. They also teach using technological innovations in practice, identifying staffing needs and building a referral network.
Oral Manifestations of Systemic Disease Class
This course surveys soft tissue indications of health problems. Participants learn to identify types of sores in the mouth, diagnose health conditions using these indications and plan appropriate treatment. Lessons touch upon medication side effects, common oral ulcers and oral cancers.