A Day in the Life of an Orthodontic Dental Assistant

If you want to work in the dental field but aren't sure what you want to specialize in, consider orthodontics. This is the practice of straightening teeth through devices like braces, retainers and dental implants.

As an orthodontic dental assistant, your job duties would range from greeting patients to assisting with dental procedures. You can feel good about sending patients home with straighter, brighter smiles and more self confidence.

An orthodontist must attend no less than ten years of school before beginning his or her practice. However, the requirements for the orthodontic assistant are much less rigorous.

If this job could be summed up in a few words, it would be following instructions from the orthodontist in charge and tending to the ever-changing needs of each day's patient roster.

What this actually includes could probably fill pages. You will need to be energetic, flexible and cheerful to succeed in this career field.

There are many educational programs for orthodontic assistants, but it is important to make sure that they are accredited with your state of residence. Each state has its own regulations when it comes to dentists and others in the dental field.

You may or may not have to become a dental assistant or hygienist before continuing your education to include orthodontics. How extensive your training needs to be is a state manner you will need to look up online or through the state labor board.

Once you've decided that a career in orthodontics assisting is for you, find a school that meets all the state criteria you've researched. There may be more than one school in your area that fulfills the requirements.

In this case it is helpful to tour each school, meet some of the faculty and see which institution appeals most to you. Many schools have financial aid, scholarships and financing packages for tuition costs.

If the average dental assistant makes around $15 an hour and the average hygienist makes $30, one can assume that the pay for an orthodontic dental assistant will range somewhere in between. If you are a dental assistant who becomes an orthodontic assistant, you will probably make more than $15 per hour.

As a hygienist who specializes in orthopedics, your salary could range $40 an hour or more. As you can see, getting the proper education and choosing a specialty to pursue can be financially rewarding.

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