To become an orthodontist (or orthodontic specialist), you must first obtain a Doctorate in Dental Medicine (4 or 5 years) to become a dentist. Before you can apply in orthodontics, one must practice a minimum of one year in private practice or in an hospital environment. Thereafter, you must successfully complete a specialty program in orthodontics, for a period of 2 to 3 years full time, and the exam of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. Only professionals who have completed this course successfully may use the name “orthodontist.” The terms “comprehensive orthodontics service” or “orthodontics” does not necessarily mean that you are dealing with an orthodontist. You have to find the words “orthodontist” or “specialist in orthodontics”.