Are you thinking of pursuing a career in dentistry, but do not have 8 years to wait until you can become a dentist? Are you just interested in who all these people who aren’t the dentist are, and why they are in the room during your treatment time? Are you just interested in who helps the orthodontist get the job done? Below you can read our description of what an orthodontic assistant is, what they do, and what kind of career it is.
Just as a doctor has a nurse, an orthodontist can really use someone who can make their life easier, and help them with their work. Orthodontic assistants are not orthodontists and are not medical doctors, but they are medical professionals, meaning they are not under oath and cannot perform medical interventions, but do have an in depth understanding of the human body and how to cure certain diseases; in this case, the misalignment of teeth.
What do they do?
They can do pretty much everything that does not involve actually tightening, adjusting or putting on the braces. They can prepare the room, sterilize instruments, talk to patients, place orders for materials, help storing and using study models, and can take down the patient’s information and enter their health info so the doctor can start immediately. They can usually answer most if not all questions the patient may have.
How long is the training, how much is the salary?
In order to become an orthodontic assistant and help an orthodontist to do their job, a person must become certified. The certification usually talks one or two years, and- as with all medical careers- there is a lot of on the job training involved, so usually the certificate in and of itself is not enough. The salary differs greatly from country to country, but orthodontic assistants usually make a middle class income.
If you are interested in becoming an orthodontic assistant, you can take a look at your local education offices, or ask an orthodontist or dentist where you can get your certificate from, and look into a dental practice that is willing to have you do on the job training.