When considering making a career in either orthodontics or dentistry, it can be difficult to choose between them. There are a few key differences between the two. Dentistry is a medical practice, whereas orthodontics is a specialism within the dental profession. The question is, how do you choose between the two?
The first thing to consider when trying to choose between a career in dentistry vs a career in orthodontics is your preference. What would you prefer to make a career out of? Do you have a particular interest, or do you feel an affinity for one over the other?
For example, if you would prefer to educate patients and provide more general treatments and procedures, dentistry could be the better route. On the other hand, if you are more interested in occlusion issues or mouth irregularities, or other more specialized procedures, then a career in orthodontics might be better suited to you.
The Education Requirements
Qualifying to become either a dentist or an orthodontist takes time. More often than not, most people study as a dentist first because it provides an excellent base of knowledge that can then be built upon. Orthodontics is a specialism that means that more often than not, a dentistry degree comes first, and orthodontics follows as a postgraduate degree.
Think about how long you want to study for. Although you can begin working immediately after receiving your undergraduate degree, you can then choose to do an orthodontics course alongside working, especially if you find one online like the ones provided by the London Dental Institute.
The Demands Of The Jobs
The truth is that both jobs can be quite demanding. However, because orthodontics is a specialist, you are more likely to have a steady stream of patients and see similar issues every day. Dentistry is broader, which means that each day may bring something different. Both jobs allow you to work either in a private setting or for the NHS, depending on what you want. Although both are paid decently, the better money is arguably in the private sector but more on that next.
The Salary Differences
Most careers in the medical field pay well. The pay is proportional to the amount of study and work that goes into obtaining those careers. Gaining a qualification in orthodontics and the resulting specialism may mean that you can earn more than you would as a dentist. Again, as mentioned above, a career in either working for the NHS is likely to not pay as well as working for a private practice would. If money is important to you, this could be an important factor in helping you to choose between the two careers.
Ask For Input
You could also ask for the opinions of those closest to you. What do they think you should do? You could also speak to a career advisor. They can give you an insight into what courses to apply for, the entry requirements, and your prospects after graduation.
Although choosing between the two may be challenging, you can use the above criteria to help you. Think about what you want your professional life to look like. What do you want to get out of it? It takes more work to get into orthodontics, but it does pay better, and it is more stable in terms of daily tasks too.