Orthodontist Education in 2020

Before discussing the education that is needed to become an orthodontist it is important to know what they are, what jobs they perform, where they will be working, and their schedule to make sure that this is a career you want to pursue.

What is an orthodontist?

In this medical profession it is a dentist that specialize in the field of orthodontics and major in the prevention and correction of irregularities in your teeth. This field use to be called orthodontia which is derived from two Greek word orthos and dontos which means straight teeth. When you become an orthodontist it means that your main job focus will be to provide your patients of all ages with a beautiful healthy smile.

Orthodontist job description

The basic job description of an orthodontist is for them to realign and strengthen the jaw and teeth with the application of orthodontic retainers and braces. An orthodontist will provide treatment to patients who have oral cavity anomalies and dental malocclusions. They may also be involved in a public health education program showing people how to take care of their teeth.

Some of the many job duties that an orthodontist may perform can include:

  • Analyzing x-rays and dental photos of their patients and then developing the right treatment plan.
  • Examining the dental and medical histories of their patients.
  • Diagnosing any teeth and jaw abnormalities
  • Fit and adjust as needed the dental devices that their patients are wearing
  • Designing and constructing dental devices such as labial and lingual arch wires and retainers and space maintainers.
  • Teaching their patients on the correct teeth-cleaning methods
  • Promoting oral hygiene
  • Helping to organize public health programs to help educate people on what not to eat and what to eat to help keep their teeth healthy

An orthodontist will also help a patient who has protruding teeth, shifting jaws, chewing problems, facial asymmetry, etc. They also work with other dental specialists like a dental surgeon to help devise an alternative way of treating their patients. Being an orthodontist you will need to be familiar with the different instruments that an orthodontist would use like drills, braces, mouth mirrors, and x-ray machines. More

Orthodontist Salary in 2020

An orthodontist is a medical professional who works in a special branch of dentistry called orthodontics. This specialty branch deals with the structural problems of your jaw and teeth. When looking at the name of the specialty it has a Greek origin which breaks down into ortho which means straight and odons means teeth. When you put the two words together it simply means improving your teeth alignment and your other oral structures. They are also known as Dentofacial, Invisible Braces Orthodontist, Pediatric Orthodontist, or Orthopedics Dentist.

As a result of this being a special branch of dentistry it is only natural to assume that it will require more education which in turn would mean a larger salary. Unfortunately this is not always the case because the salary of an orthodontist is governed by three factors. These three factors are geographical location, work experience and skills, and type of employment. As with any profession where you go and get paid to be there and work it is a business. Basically it is up to you to make a go of this “business” and if you do you will have money coming in. To make a go of this business you need to have clients, or patients, and the more you have the more money you will be bringing in.

In order to make good money as an orthodontist in 2020 there are two other basic essentials that you will need which are great work experience and skills. An orthodontist also needs to establish their practice in a good geographical location like Texas or New Jersey where you can earn some of the highest salaries because of the high standard of living and good paying jobs. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the rural areas where the salary is not so high and then you have all the geographical areas in between these two ends. Before deciding to set up your practice do your research to see where the best paid salaries would be before you graduate. If a high paying salary is not all that important but helping people is important then you would choose a geographical area near the end of the spectrum of rural living. You also need to remember that when talking about geographical location you are not only talking big city or rural areas but also the state, city, and even the country where you are a practicing orthodontist. More

How to Become an Orthodontist Assistant in 2020

This is a medical professional who assists the orthodontist with different types of treatment. They are the ones who prepare the patient for the orthodontist, maintain the patient’s medical records, and set up the treatment room. Basically being an orthodontist assistant you are the orthodontist’s “right-hand man.”orthodontist working with the assistantSource: Wikimedia

Job description of an orthodontist assistant

The main job that an orthodontist assistant does is to help the orthodontist and do whatever they need them to do during the various dental procedures. Some of these duties include:

  • Preparing the patient to see the orthodontist
  • Preparing the treatment or examination room by making sure that the instruments are disinfected and sterilized along with any surfaces in the room such as the chair the patient sits in,
  • Throwing away any disposable instruments, gloves, and disposable gowns.
  • Setting up the instrument trays and preparing the materials that are going to be needed that day.
  • Assisting the orthodontist during any procedures.
  • Taking vital signs and recording the information in the patient’s medical charts
  • Helping the orthodontist with a dental emergency
  • Recording diagnostic and treatment information in the patient’s chart
  • Providing post-op care and ensuring that the patient understands what to do and not do after having the procedure done.
  • Instructing patients in how to have good oral hygiene
  • Removing and cleaning appliances
  • Taking impressions for study casts
  • Ordering and maintaining all the supplies and materials that the orthodontist will use for their treatments and patient care.


Orthodontist Education and Schools

Before you can become an orthodontist you will first need to complete your education to become a dentist. The reason is that an orthodontist is a medical professional that specializes in dealing with patients who have teeth that are out-of-sync or crooked with the help of dental prosthetics like braces. When choosing orthodontics to specialize in you will primarily dealing with the aesthetic part of dentistry.

If you want to become a dentist specializing in orthodontics you should make sure that you are taking as many science and math classes while you are in high school to give you a head start on college and earning your bachelor’s degree. One important thing to note is that when you decide that you want to become an orthodontist it is a specialty that will require extensive training. The reason is that this specialty deals with improving the facial appearance of your patients.

Dental school

The first step after graduating from high school is to have at least 2 years of an undergraduate education in science or have your Bachelor’s Degree in Science (BSc). Either of these is needed before you can even enroll in dental school. You must also pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT), which is a hard test to pass so you must study hard in order to pass, before enrolling in dental school. Most students will take this exam during their junior year of college.

There are 56 dental schools that have been accredited by the American Dental Association. Some states have only one or two dental schools, some have several dental schools, and some states have no dental schools. There is a lot of tough competition to get into any of these dental schools. To be able to get into a dental school you will have to go through personal interviews along with being judged on your DAT scores.

Some of dental schools are:

  • University of Alabama School of Dentistry Birmingham, Alabama
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry Los Angles, California
  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine Pomona, California
  • University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine Farmington, Connecticut
  • University of Florida College of Dentistry Gainesville, Florida
  • Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine Alton, Illinois
  • Indiana University School of Dentistry Indianapolis, Indiana
  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry San Juan, Puerto Rico


Orthodontist Assistant

What is an orthodontist assistant?

This is a medical professional that will be there to assist the orthodontist during procedures with whatever they need. Your position as an orthodontist assistant is the same as a regular dental assistant but you will have expanded duties. There are some states that recognize being an orthodontist assistant as a separate occupation while other states will group them with regular dental assistants.

What does an orthodontist assistant do?

An orthodontist assistant does not just help the orthodontist but also performs many other tasks during their working days. Some of the tasks that an orthodontist assistant may do can include:

  • Greeting the patients as they walk into the practice
  • If the office still uses the conventional charts instead of having electronic charts they would pull the charts from the filing room so the orthodontist can review the chart before seeing the patient.
  • Making sure that the patient feels comfortable when they are in the exam room and answering any questions or concerns they might have.
  • During the procedure the orthodontist assistant will hand the orthodontist the instruments that they need and provide necessary suction.
  • Depending on the office they are working for they may administer certain forms of anesthetic and take x-rays
  • Preparing the instruments that the orthodontist is going to use. To do this they will sterilize the instruments using an autoclave.
  • They may also clean, organize, and sort the various instruments that the orthodontist uses.
  • Taking inventory of the one-use only supplies like rubber bands for braces and latex gloves making sure that they always have a supply on hand. They may also order any necessary supplies.
  • Making sure that environment is clean and sanitized, especially the exam rooms.
  • Depending on the orthodontist office they may also have to make sure the charts are up-to-date and also do billing of patients and insurance companies.
  • Keeping track of all the medicines that the orthodontist uses.
  • Cleaning a patient’s teeth, taking impression of a patient’s mouth, or making minor adjustments to their dental gear.
  • For new patients the orthodontist assistant will take their oral dental history, medical history, and why they are there to see the orthodontist

Although most all orthodontist assistants have undergone an orthodontist assistant training program and may even have an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting or Orthodontics Assisting you will still need the training of how the orthodontist office works when you start to work for an orthodontist in private practice, partnership, or in a group practice because no office works in the same way. You will need to learn exactly what your duties are, where supplies are kept, do you have any office duties, etc. More

Orthodontist Salary and Career Guide

Some general dentists may typically provide orthodontic services for their clients, however, most will refer their dental patients to a specialist – the orthodontist. Orthodontists work with identifying dental abnormalities, realigning teeth and improving or restoring proper jaw function for their patients. They also work with their patients to create a more desirable appearance and increase a patient’s self confidence, typically by straightening crooked or misplaced teeth through the use of applied orthodontics – retainers, braces or other dental appliances.

Salary Range for an Orthodontist

Anyone who’s had to pay for braces knows that orthodontists make a lot of money. An orthodontist salary is among the highest of any profession, in the range of $80,00 to $250,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average annual salary for an orthodontist to be about $193,000 although that can be higher or lower depending upon several other factors like location, education and years of experience. In regions where the cost of living is higher, orthodontists will typically make even more. Those in private practice will likely earn even higher salaries. Orthodontists in the top 10% of their profession earn around $300,000 a year.

Required Skills

To be an orthodontist requires an exceptional degree of manual dexterity and strong diagnostic abilities. Orthodontists typically have an excellent sense of judgment in regards to spaces, shape and color. All of these skills and abilities will help the orthodontist to accomplish tasks like creating or fitting complex dental appliances in a patient’s mouth and changing the position of teeth or jaws in order to realign them.

Orthodontists also need to have exceptional communication skills. They must be able to clearly instruct dental assistants and dental technicians in everyday complex tasks, procedures and other techniques. Collaboration with other orthodontists and professionals like restorative dentists, Endodontists, surgeons, etc. is also essential. Occasionally they may need to communicate and coordinate services with other professionals in the medical field.

Diagnostic ability is also necessary in order to study or create dental records, x-rays, plaster models of teeth and envelop patient treatment plans. Orthodontists must also identify, diagnose and treat teeth, jaw or dental-facial type abnormalities. Designing and fabricating dental appliances to assist in realigning teeth, realigning jaws, restoring normal function or improving a person’s overall appearance are all vital tasks performed by an orthodontist. More