What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?
Every orthodontist is also fully qualified as a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. In fact most of them are not.
Although the law permits dentists to practice any area of dentistry that they like, including orthodontics, a dentist can only describe themselves as an orthodontist if they are registered on the orthodontic specialist list of the Dental Council of Ireland. This typically means that they:
- Are fully qualified as a dentist
- Are registered on the Dental Council’s register of dentists
- Completed at least 3 years of full-time post-graduate study and training exclusively in orthodontics at an institution that is approved by the Dental Council for orthodontic training
- Usually did research into orthodontics
- Were examined by an approved university and awarded a Master’s degree
- Then were further examined by a Royal College of Surgeons (or its equivalent abroad)
- Were finally approved by the Dental Council for inclusion on the Orthodontic Division of its Register of Specialists