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7 Steps to Become an Orthodontist in Canada

Orthodontists are a highly respected group of specialists with rewarding careers. Becoming one of them requires knowing the 7 steps to becoming an orthodontist in Canada.

Understanding what they do and how to become an orthodontist can help prepare you for a successful career in the industry.

In this article, you will learn more about becoming an orthodontist and the 7 steps to becoming an orthodontist in Canada. Read on!

Who is an Orthodontist?

Orthodontists are medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw and tooth misalignment. It also corrects the misaligned occlusal pattern that occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not fit and form regular tooth circles.

Their work may also include changing facial growth. These specialists perform these treatments to improve the patient’s quality of life. Bone is easier to adjust before adulthood than after adulthood, so patients are primarily diagnosed and treated before adulthood.

Orthodontists most often use orthodontic appliances that are fixed and removable to correct the patient’s deformity. These devices include:

Brace: Brace is a tool used to force teeth apart and close the space between teeth. A brace is usually custom-made to solve various dental problems that patients may have.

Face mask and headgear: The orthodontic wears a brace on the patient’s teeth to correct the position of the teeth, while the patient wears orthodontic headgear to reposition the jaw.

Headgear assists in this alignment by applying tension directly to the brace using hooks, rubber bands, orthodontic bands, and face bows.

Responsibilities of an Orthodontist

An orthodontist can carry out work that aims to achieve the following:

  • closing wide gaps between the teeth
  • aligning the tips of the teeth
  • straightening crooked teeth
  • improving speech or chewing ability
  • boosting the long-term health of gums and teeth
  • preventing long-term excessive wear or trauma of the teeth
  • treating an improper bite

Orthodontists are also experts in the shape of the mouth, jaws, and face. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Examining patients
  • Oral communication
  • Assessing abnormalities in the mouth, teeth, and jaws
  • Using diagnostic tools, such as X-rays and molds of the teeth
  • Connecting multiple, seemingly unrelated symptoms
  • Diagnosing problems originating in the face and mouth
  • Recommending corrective treatment
  • Monitoring progress of corrective treatment
  • Staying up to date on braces technology and other corrective appliances for the teeth and jaws

7 Steps to becoming an orthodontist in Canada

Here are the steps you can follow on how to become an orthodontist:

Step 1. Start secondary education in the background of science

If you are considering a career in orthodontics, you will have the tools you need in the early stages of education.

In secondary education, it may be helpful to take multiple science courses. Subjects include biology, physics, anatomy, and organic and inorganic chemistry. Early Excellence in science subjects can give you an edge later in the orthodontist’s journey.

Step 2. Get a bachelor’s degree in science

Most careers require a college education, and orthodontics is one of them. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in science is important for becoming an orthodontist.

Although this science degree is in almost every discipline, most students usually pursue majors in chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and more. This degree is one of the best ways to apply for and be accepted by a dental school.

Step 3. Prepare for the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)

The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is an examination administered by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). The exam uses tests such as the Survey of Natural Sciences, a perceptual ability test, and a reading comprehension test to determine your aptitude for a career in dentistry.

The CDA has a French Dental Aptitude Test and an English DAT. Depending on the one you decide to take, you may answer about 160 to 210 questions on the exam. The results of this test will help the dental school gain insights into the compatibility of your skills with the school’s programs.

Step 4. Get a Ph.D. in Dental Surgery / Medical Dentistry

Admission to a dental school is a process that cannot rely solely on the cumulative GPA and DAT scores of the university. You can increase your chances by providing letters of recommendation, personal statements, and evidence of your dental experience.

The anatomy of the human body and the effects of dental treatment on the whole body are several subjects that can be studied at a dental school. Once you are familiar with these sections, you can complete your dental school education by learning and performing various procedures under the guidance of a licensed dentist.

This learning process takes four years to complete. After this, you will get a degree in Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine (DMD), depending on the path you chose at the beginning of the program.

Step 5. Acquire a dental license

With a DDS or DMD, you are going to need a certificate from the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB). The process of becoming NDEB certified depends on where you obtained your dental education and if you want to be a general dentist, specialist, or both.

In this case, you want to be a specialist in orthodontics, so it’s crucial you focus on topics like endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and maxillofacial surgery. Adequate knowledge of these topics can help you do well in the two-part NBED examination process.

Step 6. Finish an orthodontic residency program

You may complete your orthodontic residency program in a teaching hospital attached to a university. Finishing one of these programs requires three to five years of receiving intensive instruction in the procedures and science of orthodontia.

You may also learn the proper guidance of dental and facial development during this program. The completion of this program is proof that you have participated in and actively performed several orthodontic treatments.

Step 7. Apply for a license as an orthodontist

If you want to be an orthodontist in that country, you can study how to apply for a license in your state. Requirements may vary from state to state, but in most cases, you will need to pass the NDEB exam and graduate from dental school.

It is important to note that licensed orthodontists may also be practicing dentistry in the licensed state.

Skills needed to be an orthodontist in Canada

A good orthodontist needs specific skills as well as education and training to be successful. These skills are:

Attention to detail

The teeth and mouth are very complex parts of the body and can develop differently in most people. Orthodontists can treat patients with a variety of problems and severity, such as tooth misalignment and tooth and jaw misalignment.

It is important for orthodontists to understand all the details of a patient’s medical history in order to develop detailed solutions that improve the patient’s quality of life.

Diagnostic skills

The first step in correcting a patient’s malformation is to carefully assess the problem. A good orthodontist has the skills to identify a patient’s problems and suggest solutions on how to solve them. Over time, orthodontists can better diagnose problems and sometimes complete problems in less time.

Dexterity skill

Orthodontists often work with patients who do not sit still or interfere with their work. Manual dexterity helps in these situations as it facilitates the treatment process for both the orthodontist and the patient. This skill is also necessary because the mouth is a relatively small part of the body.

Interpersonal skills

The demographic of an orthodontist’s usual patients are mostly children and young adults. Ensuring you possess the skills to effectively manage and communicate with children is essential.

You may also require good interpersonal skills to communicate with the patient’s guardians regarding the patient’s health status.

Management and business skills

If you open your own office as an orthodontist, you may consider developing your management skills. Opening your own business means you’re self-employed and may require business skills such as financial management and accounting.

Learning how to advertise to people to become customers is also an important business skill to promote your business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is orthodontics a good Career in Canada?

Yes, it is the best option in Canada, especially in the field of is very famous there and one can earn in thousand dollars/pounds easily

What is the average salary of an orthodontist in Canada?

The average pay for an orthodontist is $283,127 a year and $136 an hour in Canada.

What are the benefits of being an orthodontist in Canada?

The benefits package for an orthodontist includes health insurance, retirement benefits, job satisfaction, technological advances, and a good salary.

What does an orthodontist treat?

An orthodontist treats dental abnormalities including Crooked teeth, and bite problems like an overbite or an underbite.

How many hours does an orthodontist work in Canada?

Most orthodontists work 7or 8 hours a day.


There is nothing so beautiful as a healthy smile and orthodontists are responsible for straightening crooked and crowded teeth to create happy patients. Orthodontists are important to our world and community.

We have provided the steps to launch you into your career as an orthodontist and the 7 steps to becoming an orthodontist in Canada.

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