What is Orthodontic Dentistry

Orthodontics (KFO) is a specialty of dentistry that deals with tooth positions, jaw clenching and the function of the temporomandibular joint.
Orthodontists recognize tooth and jaw misalignments and treat them with aids such as B. Braces and braces. Treatment by an orthodontist also helps prevent such misalignments.
In this article, you will learn about the different job titles for orthodontists. At first glance, the names are similar and are therefore often confusing for patients. Therefore, in this article you will learn everything about the different training levels and qualifications.
The orthodontist specialization

  • mainly deals with the treatment of misaligned teeth.
  • requires manual and technical skills and social skills.
  • can be reached on different training paths.

Tasks of orthodontics

Close teeth are more prone to tooth decay. Often times, the patient cannot bite, chew, or speak properly. Misaligned jaws and teeth often lead to painful wear and tear on teeth and joints as well as permanent tension.
Orthodontics not only straighten crooked teeth in order to keep the patient's beautiful smile. Rather, the specialist dentist ensures that the patient is protected from misaligned teeth or jaws not impaired health become. The treatment prevents undesirable developments and corrects irregular or disturbed dentition developments. Crooked teeth are re-arranged in the dental arch and malformations of the dentition are compensated for.
Orthodontic treatments mainly take place in childhood. But they can also be carried out on adults. Each patient receives individually made treatment plans and equipment. A distinction is made between fixed and removable treatment devices.
Furthermore, orthodontists manufacture Protection against tooth and mouth injuries during sports customized silicone mouthguards. But there are also orthodontists who work with other specialists such as ENT doctors in the Snoring therapy work together. If necessary, they fit z. B. snoring splints for the patient.
Orthodontists use different treatment methods. Most treatment approaches share the same goal: The dentists promote the health and well-being of their patients by giving them a healthy and beautiful smile.

Orthodontist or specialist dentist in orthodontics

In Germany there are the terms "orthodontist" and "specialist dentist for orthodontics". Both job titles are equal and describe the same specialization.
If you want to become an orthodontist, you first need one extensive study of dentistry complete. This dental degree takes around 11 semesters.
In the course of study, you will acquire in-depth knowledge of how to prevent, treat and also treat dental diseases surgically. You will also learn how to use orthodontic equipment and how to make dentures.
After completing your studies, you must gain at least one year of experience as a dentist in most federal states before you can specialize. After this general dental Theoretical and practical training in the field of orthodontics is possible in the 4th year. The training includes treatment techniques and prosthetic care.
The additional dental training usually lasts 3 years. You can do the complete training in the orthodontic department University Dental Clinic complete. Often, however, you only spend a so-called “clinic year” at the university. You will mostly work for the remaining 2 years of training in a practice with further training authorization under the supervision of an authorized doctor. Then you end the full-day and full-time training with a specialist examination before an independent examination board of the respective dental association. You are now allowed to use the title “Orthodontic Specialist”.

Master of Science in Orthodontics

Since the courses and degrees have been standardized in Europe, now also offer in Germany foreign private universities the training for the "Master of Science (MSc) Orthodontics". However, you cannot take the specialist dentist examination at the Dental Association with such a master’s degree.
You can complete the training part-time. In one to three years you will attend various courses, take an exam and write a scientific thesis. You will then acquire the master’s degree. Orthodontic training usually requires 45 to 50 days of attendance at the respective university.
This dental training opportunity is general mostly theoretical. Full patient treatments under the constant supervision of instructors are usually not required. Compared to full-time training, you will hardly gain any practical experience in the Master of Science in Orthodontics.

Dentist specializing in orthodontics

Every dentist is allowed to offer orthodontic services. Dentists are allowed to set a focus of activity without providing evidence of a special qualification. Just a few weekend courses and a few orthodontic treatments are enough to get the title “Dentist specializing in orthodontics”.
The professional qualification of the dentist concerned is not checked. This job title is therefore considered to be Self-assessment of the respective dentist.

Orthodontist: salary

The areas of responsibility in orthodontics are extensive and varied. The different employment opportunities in turn influence earnings. Other factors influence the salary, e.g. B. the location of the practice or the employment relationship. Orthodontists often work in clinics, dental centers, or their own practice. Dentists with their own practice earn more on average than their employed colleagues.
After you have completed your degree in dentistry in the orthodontics department, the specialist period begins. You have 2 options here:

  • You decide to work in a dental clinic. The starting salary is then around € 2,000 to € 3,000 per month.
  • You work in a specialist practice. Then you can expect an average starting salary of € 3,000 to € 4,500.

As an orthodontist with your own practice and a regular patient base, you can earn a good € 15,000 gross per month. However, you bear the costs of opening the practice and running it yourself. In addition, you take on social and financial responsibility for your employees.
Continuous further training is a prerequisite for top earnings as an orthodontist. Only when you offer your patients comprehensive approaches to treatment will you achieve one monthly peak earnings of over € 15,000.

Recommended practice insurance

If you have your own practice, some insurance is essential. Be sure to inform and compare several offers with regard to prices and services before you make a decision.
For liability insurance to cover personal injury and property damage, choose sufficiently high levels of coverage. A hedge of € 3 million makes sense. Professional liability insurance and legal protection insurance are also recommended. In addition, insure your practice inventory and protect yourself against the risk of business interruption. Additional liability insurance protects you against possible claims for damages from patients, even in retirement.


To work as an orthodontist, you need psychological, communicative, technical and social skills. You have to operate practice equipment properly and demonstrate a talent for surgery and craftsmanship. You should always be empathetic and patient with your predominantly young patients.
You can only achieve a sufficiently high level of knowledge in the specialist subject of orthodontics: You can only call yourself “orthodontist” or “specialist dentist for orthodontics” after completing a full-time training course and exam before the dental association. This specialist is that highest level of orthodontic training. This means that after 3 years of full-time training in orthodontic treatments, you will have sufficient knowledge of diagnostics and therapy.
A dentist who only deals with orthodontics has not completed any explicit orthodontic training: The “dentist specializing in orthodontics” can usually only provide weekend courses.