Orthodontics Curriculum


Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and treatment of malocclusion, including irregularities of the teeth and dentition, occlusal relationships and abnormal growth of the face and jaws in both children and adults. Most orthodontic treatment is delivered by orthodontic specialists on an out-patient basis in high street practices, or in an NHS community-based environment. However, an orthodontic specialist may undertake an additional two-year recognised clinical, hospital management and academic training programme to become an NHS Consultant Orthodontist. Orthodontic consultants work in hospital settings and provide advice to primary care practitioners and other specialists, and undertake the management of patients requiring more complex multidisciplinary care. Specialists in Orthodontics may also work in a university and, will be involved in teaching various student and trainee groups as well as undertaking clinical and scientific research.

The orthodontic specialty curriculum has been designed to produce at certification a specialist orthodontist able to diagnose and appropriately manage patients presenting with a wide range of malocclusion involving the teeth and jaws. Orthodontic specialist trainees will be expected to progress through an approved three-year full-time (or less than full-time equivalent) specialist training programme, successfully complete the Health Education England Review of Competency Progression (RCP) through each year of training, including the submission of an approved original research project, and pass the Membership in Orthodontics examination of the surgical Royal Colleges, prior to the award of a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training and entry onto the General Dental Council specialist list in Orthodontics. After the successful completion of training, these clinicians will be appropriately trained to undertake specialist orthodontic treatment in primary and/or secondary care environments and qualified to manage crowded, spaced or rotated teeth, impacted (buried) teeth, supernumerary (additional) teeth, absent teeth and submerged primary teeth; increased overjet (protruding upper front teeth), reverse overjet, deep bites and crossbites. The orthodontic specialist will also have an understanding of the diagnosis and appropriate care pathway for patients requiring more complex multidisciplinary care including those with cleft lip and palate, significant jaw discrepancies or multiple missing or impacted teeth requiring more complex multidisciplinary care.

The curriculum for specialty training in orthodontics is delivered against the United Kingdom General Dental Council Standards for Specialty Education in relation to patient protection, quality evaluation and review, and specialty trainee assessment against defined competencies and capabilities. The curriculum has been approved by the General Dental Council for training qualified dental surgeons to the level of an independent specialist in orthodontics. The curriculum addresses the requirements of individual patients, the population and strategic health authorities in training a workforce for the delivery of specialist orthodontic care.