An orthodontist is a licensed dentist who underwent advanced training to specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting malformations of the teeth and jaws. He is a specialist with a practice limited to ORTHODONTICS (does not perform general dentistry). A specialist is preferred because he/she is better equipped to handle various cases and treat problems related to the occlusion and alignment of teeth.
There are different levels of Orthodontic training:
- Ideally, orthodontic training is obtained at an accredited University involving a 2-3 year full-time graduate residency program (after obtaining a 6 year dental degree).
The degree may be received from an American Association of Orthodontists’ or World Federation of Orthodontists’ accredited university in various parts of the world.
As of this date, only the following local dental universities currently offering graduate programs in orthodontics have been recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED):
a. University of the Philippines
b. University of the East
c. Manila Central University
d. Centro Escolar University
- For those who are unable to go through the 2-3 year program, there are clinical preceptorship programs, study groups or short seminars that are being offered. In these situations, it is vital to check how long the training program took, the nature of the training and the academic credentials of the preceptor or mentor.
For the discerning parent or patient, questions one may ask can include:
- a. How and where did you train? At a university, preceptorship program or clinic? How long was your program? Full or part-time?
- b. Have you finished many cases? Can I see some of them?
- c. Are you certified by the Philippine Board of Orthodontics?
*The Philippine Board of Orthodontics (PBO) is a specialty board that accredits the qualifications of dentists who practice orthodontics. The PBO is accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission’s Board of Dentistry and is part of the World Federation of Orthodontists’ Committee on National and Regional Orthodontic Boards. A person who passes the Philippine Board of Orthodontics Examinations is conferred a Diplomate status by the PBO. Undergoing this accreditation process is optional. Its main objective is to protect the public and the profession.
*Only graduates of certified university based orthodontic programs here and abroad and Diplomates of the PBO shall be allowed to use the title “Orthodontist”.