What does "Registered Specialist in Orthodontics" and "FRCDC" mean?
Is it important?
A Specialist in Orthodontics first graduates from a 4 to 5 year University program as a dentist and then goes back to University to complete at least 2 more years of post-granduate studies in Orthodontics to become an Orthodontist. Once that level of education had been completed, an Orthodontist must pass a series of examinations adiminstered by the Royal College of Dentist of Canada to become designated as a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada = FRCDC.
The Alberta Dental Association & College has a Registrar who verifies that a candidate has indeed completed at least 2 years of post-graduate University training in Orthodontics and that they have successfully passed al the examinations to become a Fellow of the RCDC before they "Register" the candidate as a Registered Specialist in Orthodontics. Actually, the designation is "Registered Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics", but that is quite a mouthful so we usually don't list all that.
The term "Certified Specialist in Orthodontics" used to be accurate but it is now an outdated term and is not valid in Alberta. This whole process is a rigorous one and it exists to protect the public and assure citizens that in Alberta, an Orthodontist is a highly trained dentist eminently qualified to do Orthodontic treatment for both children and adults. Only people who are Registered Specialists in Orthodontics can call themselves Orthodontists in Alberta.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a general or family dentist doing orthodontic treatment procedures - any dentist is legally allowed to move teeth. In fact, some dentists do quite a lot of Orthodontic treatment and over time they learn to be quite good at it. They are very honest with their patients and actually inform them they are a general dentist and that they do some orthodontic treatments - they do not mislead people into thinking that they are Orthodontists - Registered Specialists in Orthodontics. Esperienced dentists learn that some Orthodontic treatments are very complex and difficult to do and that is why they are thankful to have Registered Specialists in Orthodontics that they can refer patients to.
Unfortunately there are people who are trying to get around the qualification requirements and actually call themselves Orthodontists when they in fact do not meet the criteria established by the Alberta Dental Association and College to be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics.
It is a sad reality that some people try to trick the public and call themselves Orthodentists, a word that is not a valid designation anywhere and confuses people into thinking they are actually dealing with a true Orthodontist.
The other way people try to confuse the public is to put themselves out there a "Practice Limited to Orthodontics". While it is not technically illegal to call yourself an Orthodentist or market yourself as "Practice liminted to Orthodontics", if it is done to mislead the public into thinking they are seeing an actual Orthodontist it is at the very least unethical.
1991, Dr. Boutin completed his post-granduate Orthodontic Training at the University of Toronto, passed his examinations with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and has been a Registered Specialist in Orthodontics with the Alberta Dental Association and College ever since.
Dr. Boutin is the real deal - an actual Orhodontist!