Orthodontics is continually evolving, and your skills need to keep pace.
If you are looking for orthodontic training, there is a course for dentists at every level through the American Orthodontic Society (AOS). The AOS offers orthodontic seminars for dentists just getting introduced to orthodontics and wanting to master a new skill. There are courses for more experienced dentists who practice general dental orthodontics and want to continue their advanced studies. Uniquely, compared to other orthodontic classes, the AOS offers training for auxiliary staff because it is equally important they are trained and competent in orthodontics.
Regardless of the orthodontic classes you are looking for, AOS membership is a supportive network to help you on your journey to practice orthodontics. Just like orthodontics is a multi-step process, so is getting an orthodontic education. The AOS does not plan for a weekend continuing education course; instead, the courses are broken down into numerous sessions designed to last several months to see orthodontic treatment from diagnosis all the way through to the retention phase.
Here are the most popular AOS courses that you may choose from depending on your experience in orthodontics.
1. Basic Straight Wire Orthodontics
If you are looking to start your orthodontic career and need beginner training, the Straight Wire Orthodontics Course is the one for you. In five sessions, over the course of several months, you will gain the experience you need to begin orthodontic cases. Dr. Brad Williams’ course is divided into comprehensive didactic lessons and hands-on clinical training so dentists looking to incorporate orthodontics can become confident and competent.
The best thing about the Basic course is you are with other dentists in the same position as you: excited to learn a new skill and implement orthodontics into your practice. The orthodontic seminars help you diagnose cases and learn to complete records using models and digital radiographs, as well as band and bracket teeth using the straight wire orthodontic appliance system. As you are learning, you are also networking and achieving over 100 continuing education credits that can be applied to state licensure requirements.
2. Treatment Strategies Phase II
You have taken the Basic Straight Wire course, but you want to go into a bit more depth with orthodontics. This two-day lecture combines both didactics and clinical study to expand your knowledge and give you a step up on the basics of orthodontics.
The course covers distalizing molars using more advanced appliances, expansion techniques, mini-implants, impacted canine strategies, and molar uprighting. It is an extension of the Basic course with even more detail and more case studies. Dentists love this course because it is a good way to keep learning, while still reviewing the basic orthodontic foundation.
3. Intermediate Straight Wire Orthodontics Course
If you’ve completed the Basic course and want to continue your orthodontic education, the Intermediate course is designed for you. It is broken down into four seminars to advance your knowledge and skills. It dives into more challenging topics in orthodontics like laser dentistry, temporary anchorage devices (TADs), and surgical cases. The Intermediate course helps general and pediatric dentists who want to learn more about challenging treatment plans and Class III malocclusions.
In the Intermediate course, you gain 80 hours of continuing education credits through both hands-on clinical lectures and case reviews. It is like a mini-residency as you already have the basics down, but you are on your way to mastering the orthodontic specialty.
4. Advanced Orthodontics
Dental learning is never complete after one course. For general and pediatric dentists wanting to continue their orthodontic training, Dr. Larry White introduces more advanced topics that require previous experience. This orthodontic seminar takes place over two days and covers the indirect-direct bonding technique, posterior cross-bite correction, and a plethora of other challenging topics. Some topics include:
- Tooth size discrepancy.
- Premolar extraction in Class II malocclusions.
- Most efficient bonding methods.
- Correcting crossbites using the most advanced methods.
- The effectiveness of corticotomies, osteoperforations, vibrations, and lasers on treatment duration.
- The importance of retention and retainers.
Dentists who achieve this level of orthodontic training have mastered both the basic and intermediate courses and are looking to amplify their orthodontic backgrounds. It is a major accomplishment to take this course because of the amount of knowledge and hands-on clinical cases dentists have treated prior to this seminar.
5. Dental assistant and hygienist course
Having a well-trained orthodontic staff is one of the key components to having a successful general dental orthodontic practice. Dentists choose this course for their hygienists and assistants so they become proficient in understanding the orthodontic language, the most efficient ways to schedule patients, and their role in orthodontic treatment.
Assistants learn the verbiage of orthodontics while also learning hands-on skills like bracketing, diagnostic records, mirror photography, and retention. The more your team is on board and understands how to handle orthodontic patients, the more trust your patients will have in you, and the greater amount of production you’ll do.
Your orthodontic learning with the AOS is a journey.
Your orthodontic skills and knowledge don’t just stop with one course. If you are continually looking for ways to offer your patients the absolute best in patient care and techniques, then continuing education with the American Orthodontic Society is a great way to treat patients, build networks, and continue to consolidate your skills.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.