Orthodontic Courses and Classes Overview

Orthodontists must complete a combination of didactic and clinical experience to get licensed in this specialized field of dentistry. Students take orthodontic courses throughout dental school, or in some cases, as part of an undergraduate degree program or postdoctoral specialty.

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Essential Information

Courses included in orthodontics programs introduce students to the procedures and techniques used to perform preventative, emergency and cosmetic procedures. Programs for orthodontists also include clinical opportunities for students to gain real world experience performing orthodontic tasks. Here are some common concepts covered in orthodontics courses:

  • Head, neck and oral anatomy
  • Tooth movement
  • Banding
  • Bonding
  • Preoperative and postoperative orthodontics
  • Restorative dentistry

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List of Courses

Introductory Orthodontics

An introductory orthodontics course is taken at the undergrad or pre-doctoral level or as part of a postdoctoral specialty. This course covers introductory topics in malocclusion, orthodontic diagnosis, treatment plans and tooth decay. This course may also introduce students to restricted orthodontic procedures or pre-clinical processes. General orthodontic applications and techniques are covered in this introductory course.

Surgery for Orthodontics

This course is taken as part of a doctoral program during dental school. Surgery for orthodontics focuses on treatment of maxillofacial (jaw) deformities or developmental problems. Skills are developed in diagnosing orthodontic surgery needs, preoperative procedures, corrective surgery and postoperative procedures. Students in this course learn the surgical techniques for all areas of the jaw.

General Techniques for Orthodontics

This course is also taken at the doctoral level and covers training through lectures, laboratory sessions and practical learning experiences. In a course on general orthodontics techniques, students learn the different uses for orthodontics. Students cover topics in dentofacial orthopedic therapy (working with children to correct face or jaw imbalances), bonding, banding, and using auxiliary appliances (brackets, expansion screws or buccal tubes). This course may also cover the computer technology used in orthodontics, such as morphing programs.

Advanced Orthodontics Diagnosis and Treatment

An advanced orthodontics diagnosis and treatment course is taken toward the end of a student's dental program. This reviews previous orthodontic topics in order to provide students with comprehensive knowledge for treatment delivery. Students are typically required to prepare various case studies and reports that depict treatment plans and diagnoses for sample orthodontic patients. Students use morphing or imaging programs in order to prepare these reports.

Orthodontics Clinical Rotation

Practical training in orthodontics comes from clinical training and experience. Most dental programs will have some sort of clinical rotation during the course of their orthodontics specialty programs. Students are exposed to real situations and real patients under the supervision of licensed orthodontists. During rotations, students observe and take part in patient diagnosis, bracket placing, banding, debonding and dental separator placement.

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