Today, we will discuss how to become an orthodontist assistant in this blog post. This covers what orthodontist assistant does, where they work, and what their earnings look like.
Orthodontics is a dentistry specialty that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns. It may also address the modification of facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
On a general note, Orthodontic dentistry refers to the study of the misalignment in the dental area as well as its treatment and diagnostics.
This course to some prospective students does not appear as a popular dental course in universities, but it remains a vital specialty in the field of dentistry.
An Orthodontist is a medical professional who specializes in Orthodonthology and is trained to give treatment relating to misalignment of the jaw or any treatment relating to the teeth.
Let us get to the business of the day which is the route to becoming an orthodontist assistant.
Orthodontist assistants help provide patient care and treatment to correct dental problems and straighten teeth as stated earlier.
Who is an orthodontist assistant?
An orthodontic dental assistant is a dental assistant who specializes in helping an orthodontist perform tasks like installing braces and educating orthodontic patients on caring for braces, retainers, and other dental equipment.
You need good interpersonal communication skills to explain procedures and educate patients as well as to collaborate with your supervising orthodontist during routine and emergency procedures.
They can also help orthodontists perform their duties and listen to patients’ orthodontic concerns. If you’re an aspiring orthodontic dental assistant, learning about ways to achieve this career can help you make a career plan.
In this blog post on how to become an orthodontist assistant, every essential thing you ought to know about a career in orthodontist assistant is unraveled.
Job description of an orthodontist assistant
Below is a comprehensive list of the 15 duties of an assistant orthodontist;
- Checking orthodontic gear like braces and retainers
- Create molds of patients’ teeth for customized retainers and mouth guards
- Educate patients on proper hygiene and after-care for orthodontic devices
- Getting patients ready for orthodontic procedures
- Listen to patients’ orthodontic concerns
- Maintain orthodontic records for patients
- Manage patient billing and payments
- Perform lab tasks
- Preparing tools for the orthodontist
- Process patient X-rays
- Provide patients with oral health tips and recommendations
- Schedule patient appointments
- Sterilize dental equipment
- Track patient dental treatments
- Update patient charts and organize the orthodontist office
how to become an orthodontist assistant
let us take a deep dive on the route to becoming an orthodontist assistant;
- Go for your high school diploma
- Find the Right Orthodontic Assistant School
- Check academic requirements for admission
- Complete a training program
- Gain experience with an externship
- Get a dental assistant job
- Earn a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) Designation
Go for your high school diploma
In the quest to become an orthodontist assistant, having to obtain your diploma is the first prerequisite. Orthodontic assistant programs require students to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.
Find the Right Orthodontic Assistant School
This may be a bit difficult, but I bet you it is worthwhile. A specialized orthodontic assistant school is less common than dental associate schools, but there is no shortage of dental assisting and associate programs nationwide that offer orthodontics classes.
Check academic requirements for admission
It is expected you can learn about your state’s requirements to help you discover what to expect from an orthodontic dental assistant career path.
Once you know the career path to become an orthodontic dental assistant in your state, you can begin exploring educational programs to gain the necessary abilities to work as a dental assistant to an orthodontist.
Complete a training program
Here, the cardinal work lies on your shoulder to work hard and pass your exams. Orthodontics classes provide students with insights into bonding agents, tooth appliances, and the use of different devices in the field.
Also, some preclinical courses like physiology and anatomy are also taught.
Gain experience with an externship
Optionally, you can participate in a dental assistant externship to learn about performing dental duties in a clinical setting.
This is essential because it helps you learn the skills needed in the career. An externship can be an especially valuable opportunity for dental assistants who want to specialize in orthodontic care because it can allow them to work in an orthodontic office.
An externship can allow you to network with other dental professionals, which can help you learn about job opportunities once you finish your training program. It can also give you an edge over other candidates for orthodontic dental assistant positions.
Get a dental assistant job
There are different platforms around the globe to help you get a job in the field. Before you can search for orthodontic assistant jobs, many states require you work for some time.
Earn a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) Designation
DANB offers a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) Designation that validates your expertise in the field.
The COA assessment includes two components: an orthodontic assisting exam and an infection control test.
Also, COA designation is not a requirement to work as an orthodontic assistant in most states. However, it adds to your portfolio.
FAQs about how to become an orthodontist assistant
What are the skills one obtains from going to orthodontist school?
- Counseling patients on dental hygiene
- Equipment sterilization
- First aid
- Helping dentists perform procedures
- Office administration
What Do Orthodontist Assistants Do?
Orthodontist assistants help provide patient care and treatment to correct dental problems and straighten teeth.
What is considered an orthodontic appliance?
An orthodontic appliance is simply a dental device that is fabricated specifically for the treatment of a dental condition.
Is a retainer a bite appliance?
The Bite Plate Appliance is a retainer-type appliance that fits closely to the top of your mouth. It is made of acrylic and metal.
It can be used before or during braces to open the bite and separate the back teeth, promoting their eruption.
Is a career in orthodontist assistant worthwhile?
A career as an orthodontist assistant is worthwhile and can fetch one a fortune. The average salary for an orthodontic assistant is about $19 per hour in the United States.
How much do orthodontist assistants make in Canada?
The average pay for a Dental Orthodontic Assistant is $50,153 a year and $24 an hour in Canada.
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