Orthodontic Continuing Education Vs. Orthodontic Residency: Which One Is The Right Choice For You?

Dentistry or Orthodontics is a field that grants you the chance to have an impact on the health of your patient, both physically and psychologically on a daily basis. Sure, for any person having a healthy mouth is not the only factor that determines a good and healthy mouth, but it is the fact that it plays an important role in a positive self-image.

For any dentist, the greatest reward of their profession is to see the lives of their patients improve with a healthy set of teeth, which is the basis of a healthy and good life. Why is this so? The perfect set of teeth, help us to process food for the digestion process and goes a long way to make sure those individuals attain proper nutrition.

A career path in dentistry is definitely a rewarding one financially but it requires a series of on-going education to become better in different areas of the field. With the right support and training, such as Gerety Orthodontic Seminars you can provide your patients with good orthodontic care, either as an orthodontist specialist or as a general doctor.

You may wonder what the difference between both is and which one is better. The truth is that both can be rewarding and each one has its own benefits. Read on below to learn more about each one and determine the best option.

An Overview of Orthodontic Continuing Education and Orthodontic Residency

In the USA, if you decide to specialize in the field of orthodontics, at first you would have to apply to one of the sixty-seven accredited orthodontic residency programs. With three years of full-time training, you can then specialize in orthodontics and treat patients only within this field of care. This may be a great option for you if you want to specialize in this field and only want to treat patients who have an orthodontic need. For specialization, you would need to dedicate two to three years as well as beat as much as 93% other applicants.

However, if you are considering treating patients with braces, you can enroll in several orthodontic continuing education programs online or in class to help you out. Alongside attending such programs, you can continue to practice and provide patients with your dentistry work and expand your services in orthodontic care. Although there are many orthodontic CE courses available, the most comprehensive one is the 18 to 24 months one. It is more comparable to orthodontic residencies and can be the best option if you want to provide care in different areas of dentistry.

The Time Duration of Orthodontic CE and Residency

Typically, comprehensive orthodontic continuing education lasts for 18 to 24 months part time. Sometimes there are shorter courses available in credit hours. These days, you can also enroll in this system online, and take part anytime convenient for you. The advantage of taking online courses is the flexibility of timing and location. You can continue to work in your clinic and take part in the online sessions between patient breaks. It gives you the plus point of learning about the latest trending treatment options for braces, or Invisalign and how you can use the best one to have an impact on the life of your patients.

However, orthodontic residency requires an extensive time commitment. Residents have to dedicate about two to three years of full-time learning. During the course of study, residents have to focus their training in the class and apply their skills and knowledge during patient rotations at hospitals or universities.

Is there a Difference in Knowledge?

Orthodontists receive training to understand and be able to treat all types of orthodontic cases. In orthodontic residency, you get the opportunity to use different types of systems, products, and appliances. Since it would be in a university (most probably), you can use their appliances, read the literature, and get to learn about different systems to determine which one works best.

Typically, dentists who take orthodontic CE courses or programs don’t have the finances and time to learn everything about the orthodontic system like a full-time resident dentist. Usually, dentists learn one or two systems that work best for them. However, most of the orthodontic courses focus on practical aspects to provide orthodontic care. Dentists can’t get hands on knowledge on the orthodontic history, and literature review but get to access different cases other specialists have treated.

Through orthodontic CE, dentists learn new cases, procedures, and treatment options. They gain a high level of diagnostic understanding, treatment options.


The rewards of orthodontics can be a very satisfying addition to your practice. As a dentist, there are several ways you can accomplish new goals, be lucrative, learn new areas, and earn better financially. You just have to choose the field or option that suits you best.

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