What Are the Pluses to Become an Orthodontist Assistant?

February 05, 2023 · 3 min read

In case some people are hesitating whether to become an orthodontist, the option of getting the orthodontist profession may come in handy! Because becoming an orthodontic assistant typically requires less education and training than becoming an orthodontist. The specific requirements to become an orthodontic assistant may vary depending on the state and employer, but in general, the following steps are commonly required:

  1. High School Diploma or GED: Most orthodontic assistants have at least a high school diploma or GED.
  2. On-the-Job Training: Many orthodontic assistants receive on-the-job training from a licensed orthodontist or experienced assistant. This training typically includes learning how to sterilize instruments, take X-rays, and assist the orthodontist during procedures.
  3. Certification: Some states require orthodontic assistants to be certified. The certification process may include passing an exam or completing a certain number of hours of continuing education.
  4. Continuing Education: Some states may also require orthodontic assistants to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their certification.
  5. Radiography Certification: Some states require dental assistants to have radiography certification to take X-rays.

The requirements to become an orthodontic assistant can vary depending on the state and employer. It's important to check with the state dental board or the American Association of Orthodontists for specific requirements in your state.

What is more, working as an orthodontic assistant can be a stepping stone to becoming an orthodontist or a dental hygienist in the future, as it provides a good understanding of the field and the necessary skills and knowledge.


What are the pluses to become an Orthodontic Assistant?

All in all, becoming an orthodontic assistant can provide several benefits, including:

  1. Job security: The demand for orthodontic services is expected to continue growing, resulting in a need for orthodontic assistants.
  2. Career advancement: Many orthodontic assistants go on to become dental hygienists or pursue other careers in the dental field.
  3. Helping others: Orthodontic assistants have the opportunity to help patients improve their smiles and self-confidence.
  4. Hands-on experience: Orthodontic assistants get hands-on experience working in a clinical setting and assisting orthodontists during procedures.
  5. Competitive salary: The salary for orthodontic assistants is generally competitive, and it can increase with experience and additional certifications.
  6. Flexibility: The field of orthodontics offers a good balance of working hours and time off for orthodontic assistants.
  7. Learning opportunities: Orthodontic assistants have the opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and techniques in the field.
  8. Job satisfaction: Many orthodontic assistants find the work to be rewarding and enjoyable.

One more thing to note about applying to this job is that it's important to have the desire to work with people and have a genuine interest in the field of orthodontics. Orthodontic assistants should have good communication skills and be able to work well in a team environment.


How much does an Orthodontic Assistant make?

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for dental assistants, which includes orthodontic assistants, was $40,080 in May 2020. The highest 10 percent earned more than $54,620 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,710.

Orthodontic assistants typically receive on-the-job training and may also be required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their certification. With experience, many orthodontic assistants can advance to higher-paying positions, such as practice manager or office manager, and potentially increase their earning potential.

It's important to note that salary ranges can vary greatly depending on the location, size, and type of orthodontic practice, as well as the specific responsibilities and duties of the orthodontic assistant.

by Olena Kukhtyk

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