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Air Force Air Force ortho specialty

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hgrah13

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I’m new to this forum, I am applying to dental school next year, but I want to specialize in orthodontics. I really want to do orthodontics through the Air Force but reading some of these threads I’m just confusing myself more. Can anyone clarify the process of going through dental school, ortho residency then straight to the Air Force after? I’ve spoken a little bit with a recruiter about the HPSP for dental school, but I’m not sure how that would work for ortho residency. Thanks in advance!!
 

Big Time Hoosier

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I’m new to this forum, I am applying to dental school next year, but I want to specialize in orthodontics. I really want to do orthodontics through the Air Force but reading some of these threads I’m just confusing myself more. Can anyone clarify the process of going through dental school, ortho residency then straight to the Air Force after? I’ve spoken a little bit with a recruiter about the HPSP for dental school, but I’m not sure how that would work for ortho residency. Thanks in advance!!
Your plan will not pan out as you envision it. You can’t just specialize in whatever you want. You must apply and be selected by the military to specialize. It’s very competitive and, aside from OMFS, very rarely will you be selected to specialize right out of school. There are plenty of competitive people who have already served time as an active duty dentist and “earned” being selected. The military also seems to be significantly reducing the number of specialists, aside from OMFS, so it’s only going to get more competitive.

Big Hoss
 
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FutureDent020

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Yea, here’s what’s going to happen. Do the best you can in dental school- top 10% in your class. Then succeed during your active duty tenure, make relationships, and get to know orthodontists. Shadow them and work with them. Gain knowledge and experience. Separate from the AF after your 4-5 years and then use the GI bill to pay for your ortho residency. By then you will be able to go wherever you want. Don’t plan on doing ortho in the AF. It’s possible but you it’s incredibly difficult as Big Hoss said. You not only have to have to have a top class rank and test scores, but also be really good at playing the military game. And like BH said, in 4 years ortho may not even be a specialty you can do in the military.
 
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hgrah13

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Yea, here’s what’s going to happen. Do the best you can in dental school- top 10% in your class. Then succeed during your active duty tenure, make relationships, and get to know orthodontists. Shadow them and work with them. Gain knowledge and experience. Separate from the AF after your 4-5 years and then use the GI bill to pay for your ortho residency. By then you will be able to go wherever you want. Don’t plan on doing ortho in the AF. It’s possible but you it’s incredibly difficult as Big Hoss said. You not only have to have to have a top class rank and test scores, but also be really good at playing the military game. And like BH said, in 4 years ortho may not even be a specialty you can do in the military.

wow you read my mind, I was gonna ask if I can do ortho residency after I do general dentistry through the AF. I don’t know specifics & wasn’t sure if you could do residency after so many years of graduating. Thank you!!
 

Big Time Hoosier

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wow you read my mind, I was gonna ask if I can do ortho residency after I do general dentistry through the AF. I don’t know specifics & wasn’t sure if you could do residency after so many years of graduating. Thank you!!
I started a pediatric dentistry residency after I got out. Most of my closest friends in the military also went on to specialize or plan to do so.

Big Hoss
 
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cluelessdr

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Your plan will not pan out as you envision it. You can’t just specialize in whatever you want. You must apply and be selected by the military to specialize. It’s very competitive and, aside from OMFS, very rarely will you be selected to specialize right out of school. There are plenty of competitive people who have already served time as an active duty dentist and “earned” being selected. The military also seems to be significantly reducing the number of specialists, aside from OMFS, so it’s only going to get more competitive.

Big Hoss
why isnt omfs becoming more competitive?
 

ArmyOralSurgery

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why isnt omfs becoming more competitive?
Residency is hard and intensely time consuming. Programs in the military’s past were know for being very malignant although that’s unlikely true for most places anymore, but the bad rep sticks. GPs are also soured to a lot of military OMS who treat their referring providers like crap (wouldn’t fly in the outside). In the civilian world when you finish you can immediately start making big money but the military only gives you $35k/yr more and you have to deal with min 4 more years of bureaucratic BS. Things are not getting better in the civilian OMS world in terms of sedation and more GPs placing implants so the private practice profession has likely peaked in terms of quick lucrative titanium. DHA is a raging dumpster fire and people with little patience for it don’t want to stick around. Perio are no longer “gum gardners” but are board certified in Periodontology and Implant Surgery - they do big hard/soft tissue surgery, place implants, take out teeth, and can provide moderate IV sedation.
 
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