Dentist or Orthodontist?


All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists must first attend college, and then complete a four-year dental graduate program at a university dental school or other institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA). They must then successfully complete an additional 2-3 year residency program of advanced education in orthodontics. This residency program must also be accredited by the ADA. Through this training, the orthodontist learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

Only dentists who have successfully completed this advanced specialty education may call themselves orthodontists.

An orthodontist may be certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and earn the title “Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.” As of March 2004, there are only 2,026 orthodontists throughout the world who are Diplomates and Dr. Bill is proud to be one of them!**


Dr. Bill is an Associate Clinical Professor at St. Louis University's graduate department of Orthodontics.

* per the American Association of Orthodontists, FAQ on

** per the American Board of Orthodontics