What is an
An orthodontist is a specialist who completed a post-doctoral orthodontic residency after dental school.
Specializing in better smiles and better oral health
Orthodontists are specialists with extensive training and expertise in aligning the teeth and jaw with appliances, such as braces and Invisalign®. In fact, it’s the sole focus of their practice. This means our San Diego orthodontist Dr. Matthew Durschlag is uniquely positioned to create smiles that account for biomechanics, health and aesthetics.
What Type of Training Does an Orthodontist Have?
After graduating from high school, an aspiring orthodontist earns their bachelor’s degree. Then, they spend four years in dental school to obtain their doctorate degree.
Next, they have to be accepted into a competitive orthodontic residency program (there are approximately 15 applicants for every spot!).
Over the course of their two- to three-year residency, they spend thousands of hours learning the nuances of diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities. When they finish, they become a certified specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
What is a Board-Certified Orthodontist?
Dr. Durschlag took the additional, voluntary step of becoming certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). This is the highest distinction in his field and something only about half of all orthodontists attain. The process takes years and hundreds of hours of preparation. Dr. Durschlag had to pass written and oral exams and present and defend cases to demonstrate a high level of clinical skill.
Dr. Durschlag must complete continuing education and renew his certification every 10 years, ensuring he remains on the leading-edge of his field. According to the ABO, board certification demonstrates an orthodontist’s “personal and public commitment to the standard of specialty practice and lifelong learning.”
Do I Have to See an Orthodontist?
If you’re interested in straightening your teeth, you should see an orthodontist for care, because treatment can lead to permanent changes in your teeth and facial structure. An orthodontic specialist has years of training focused on safe, effective tooth movement, allowing them to achieve the highest quality outcomes.
As a board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Durschlag is able to look at the bigger picture and create a treatment plan where each tooth is in harmony with your other teeth, lips, cheeks, chin, jaw, TMJ and muscles. You’ll get one-of-a-kind results customized to your unique dental and facial anatomy.