Orthodontist Salary https://www.orthodontistsalaries.net Find all about the orthodontist career: jobs, training and certification Fri, 16 Jan 2020 12:50:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.23 Orthodontist Education in 2020 /orthodontist-education-in-2020 /orthodontist-education-in-2020#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2020 12:48:25 +0000 /?p=45 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.

Work environment/schedule of an orthodontist

Being an orthodontist you may have your own practice or be part of a group practice. Some may work in outpatient clinics or for the government in the military. They may also have a teaching position. Because this profession falls under the dental category and not a medical category orthodontists will normally work a regular 40 hour week Monday thru Friday with an 8 hour day. An orthodontist may work one or two days in the evening to accommodate their patients that work during the day. There are some who may even offer emergency dental appointments.

How to become an orthodontist?

To become an orthodontist you will need to enroll in a program that is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). When you graduate you will have either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.). To get a doctorate you will need to complete 4 years of dental school training. This also includes seeing patients and having a hands-on experience under the supervision of an experience orthodontist. Before attending college you should make sure that you are taking all the science and math classes you can while in high school.

Before you get to this step in the process of being an orthodontist there are some prerequisites for dental school which include:

  • Having at least 2 years of a baccalaureate education but most prefer to admit students to dental school how have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Having studies at the undergraduate level in either a pre-dental program or a scientific or medical program that is similar like anatomy or biology.
  • Take the required pre-dental courses that will generally include science courses like physics, chemistry, biology, and others.
  • You will need to pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT) that is administered by the ADA which should be taken in your junior year of college.

Typically to become an orthodontist you will need to spend 2-4 years in an undergraduate program, 4 years in dental school, and finally 2-3 years in a postgraduate orthodontics program. This adds up to at least 8 years of school or as many as 11 years.

Getting into dental school is very competitive so it is important that you have a good score on the DAT test, have recommendation letters, and a good GPA score. You may also have to have an interview with the Dean of Admission at the dental school you want to attend. Because it is so competitive to get into dental school you should apply to more than one to help better your chances of getting into dental school.

Once you are accepted into dental school your first 2 years will be spent taking various basic science courses like anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry. The last 2 years will be spent gaining clinical experience and be introduced to different dental specialties like periodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, maxillofacial surgery, and prosthodontics. Your orthodontic training will include lab and lecture courses, seminars, and clinical rotations.

Once you have completed your 4 years of dental school and gotten your D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree you will have to apply to an orthodontic specialty program. You can apply to these programs by using the Postdoctoral Application Support Service that is offered by the American Dental Education Association. This is a service that will allow you to use a standard format to fill out just one application that will let you apply to multiple orthodontic specialty programs. Most of these programs will take at least 3 years to complete. During these 3 years your will learn about Dentofacial orthopedics which is the guidance of facial development, surgical orthodontics, and orthodontics which is tooth movement,   you may also complete a research project, prepare care reports, and attend conferences. When you complete this program you will be a qualified dental specialist in orthodontics.

Exams and certifications

Once all the training requirements are met you may consider becoming board certified as a way to demonstrate your skill and knowledge in orthodontics. If you pass a clinical and written exam you can be certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. After completing 18 months of your postgraduate orthodontics program you will be eligible to take the written part of the examination. You have to pass the written exam in order to take the clinical exam. To recertify your certification you will need to take additional exams periodically. In the United States there are only 20% of orthodontists that are Board Certified Orthodontists. Being board certified is the highest achievement you can earn in the dental field.

In order to practice as a dental specialist you must have a license. The requirements to get a license are regulated by the state. The requirements usually include graduating from an accredited dental school along with passing a practical and written examination. Because you are going to practice as an orthodontist, which is an orthodontics specialty, you will need to have completed a postgraduate education program. You may also have to take additional state exams. However, in most stated the license you have will let you to practice both general and specialty dentistry.

Top orthodontist schools

In the United States there are 56 dental schools that are accredited by the American Dental Association nationwide. The top 5 accredited dental schools include:

  • Harvard University, School of Dental Medicine—this is the 10th most expensive dental school and has one of the highest number of graduates that enter a specialization program as a post-graduate. In the United States it is the first university-affiliated and university-based dental schools.
  • University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry—it is one of the top rated clinical dental schools in North America with its pleasant family atmosphere you find on campus.
  • University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery—at this university you will find one of the most advanced facilities in dental education. Worldwide it is one of the 1st dental colleges to be built.
  • The University of Texas, Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School—the faculty at this university developed the first digital panoramic x-ray device in the United States.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry—this university is renowned for its high excellence in research, public service, and teaching activities. It is also North Carolina’s only dental school in the state.

Orthodontist salary

Once you have completed all the years of school and have your degree you are ready to enter the working world as an orthodontist. What your salary will be depends on your geographical location, if you are going into private or group practice, and years of experience. The average starting salary for an orthodontist with no prior experience who has just graduated and gotten their license can have an annual salary that ranges from $55,000-$104,762. Yes, this does not sound like a lot considering the number of years you went to school and all the certifications and licenses you have to have but as you gain more experience and see more patients the salary will go up. An orthodontist who has 20 years of work experience can have an annual salary of $97,959-$225,263.

If you are going into private practice it will take time to build up the number of patients you see each day so you will have expenses such as employee salaries, rent, utilities, advertising, mal-practice insurance, etc. Going into a group practice after graduating is a better idea as you will be working with a group of experience dentists and they can help you build up your patients. Many times an orthodontist will work in a group practice that has general dentists and other specialty dentists so in this case you may be seeing patients of the general dentist who need specialized work done on their teeth and jaw.

Working in a group practice you may also have a benefit package that can include paid vacation and sick days, paid personal days, health and life insurance, profit sharing, 401k, social security, pension, long and short term disability, etc. In a private practice you will be the one who is offering these benefits along with having expenses to pay.

/orthodontist-education-in-2020/feed 0
Orthodontist Salary in 2020 /orthodontist-salary-in-2020 /orthodontist-salary-in-2020#comments Tue, 23 2019 16:15:40 +0000 /?p=42 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.

Another important factor in helping to establish an orthodontist’s salary in 2020 is their level of education. If you have a higher educational level along with enough training you can make a larger salary in the beginning. One important thing to note is that when you first start out as an orthodontist you will not be making a high salary but as time goes on, you become more established, and you get more patients the salary will also go up.

As with any business there are also expenses that you must take into consideration. If you decided to start your own private practice there will be more expenses such as rent for the building, dental equipment, advertising, malpractice insurance, employee pay, etc that will deducted from what you earn each month. If you decide to join a group practice or go into partnership with some other orthodontist or even a dentist the expenses will be shared but so will also the profit. This is another decision that you will have to make before graduating. It seems as if there are a lot of decisions that must be made before graduating but it is important to at least have a plan in mind because if not, you will graduate with a diploma in hand but no office in which to hang it or patients to use our new found training on.

Here is an example of years of work experience equals average yearly salary in 2020:

  • $79,327-$167.048 with less than 1 years experience
  • $96.624-$169.308 with 1-4 years experience
  • $97,355-$180.000 with 5-9 years of experience
  • $102,564-$197,739 with 10-19 years of experience
  • $142,245-$260.500 with 20 or more years of experience

Yes it does take many, many years of experience to be making the “big bucks” but the starting salary is not too bad. If you work in a group practice or in partnership with another dentist or orthodontist there could be profit sharing to add to the salary.

You also need to look into the type of employer as mentioned. Some of the different employers with an average yearly orthodontist salary in 2020 can include:

  • $24,000-$100,000 working in a hospital
  • $92,606-$196,836 working for a company
  • $100,065-201,11 self-employed
  • $99.604-$170.051 working in a private practice/firm

According to The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics by the year 2022 the field of orthodontics is expected to grow by 16% but if the economy takes a downslide that percentage rate could drop. When money is tight the demand for orthodontics work falls dramatically because people use the money for more basic things such as rent and food.

Orthodontist salaries in 2020 by state

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistic orthodontist’s salaries will vary significantly in different states with no two states offering the same average yearly salary.

The average yearly salaries are:

  • $239,510 in Texas
  • $222,420 in New Jersey
  • $200.850 in Massachusetts
  • $164,960 in California
  • $162,850 in Florida
  • $123,020 in Indiana
  • $106,150 in Illinois


When thinking of salary people will usually think of “money” but do not take into consideration that when working in partnership or group practice there are also benefits such as paid vacations, paid sick days, vision and dental care, 401K, pension, social security, profit sharing, health and life insurance that may also include the family, and malpractice insurance. When looking at all these they can add a significant amount to the average yearly salary. Unfortunately if you are in private practice these benefits would not result in adding money to the average yearly salary but instead decreasing your average yearly salary. The reason that it would decrease your salary is that you would be paying all of these for your employees each month.

Working as an orthodontist outside the United States

The average yearly salaries up to this point have referred to employment in the United States but there are orthodontist would work in other countries like Australia, Canada, and the UK.

  • UK—in the UK the average annual salary in 2020 would be 82,852 which would be approximately $139,044. As you can see the difference between working in the UK and the United states would be approximately $56,192. Although this is the average salary in the UK, what the average orthodontist salary would be is based on what age they are which means as they grow older their salary would increase. If they are in their 20’s’ the salary would be 62,139 9 ($104,624 U.S.), in their 30’s the salary would be 81,195 ($136,709 U.S.), and in their 40’s and 50’s the salary would be 96,109 (161,820 U.S.)
  • Canada—in Canada the average yearly salary in 2020 would be between CAD$98,891-CAD$599,522 and in the United States that would be approximately $90,616-549,360. In the United States the starting salary is on average what it would be in Canada but the other end of the spectrum that salary is much higher in Canada.
  • Australia—in Australia the average annual salary in 2020 is AU$76,943-AU$250,931 and in the United States that would be approximately $71,622-$233,578. In Australia the average annual salary is higher.

If you are considering moving to either Canada or Australia for a better salary you would first need to check to see if your education, licenses, and credentials would be sufficient to practice being an orthodontist first. You should also check out the living conditions and the cost of living.

One thing to remember is that wherever you are a practicing orthodontist whether it is in the United States, Canada, the UK, or Australia, any medical field, especially being an orthodontist, is famous for providing the best salaries. It is also a known fact that there are some orthodontists who earn a higher salary than even some physicians or surgeons.

In Conclusion

If you have decided that the field you are interested in having a career is being an orthodontist in 2020 do your homework first. Know that there is a lot of schooling that you have to complete before earning your license and certification as an orthodontist and if you are going into private practice it may take a year or two before you can even begin to see any type of profit due to expenses getting your practice off the ground along with paying back your student loans. Yes the salaries looks very enticing but know when you first graduate with the medical title of orthodontist you are not going to start at the top of the salary ladder but closer to the bottom.

/orthodontist-salary-in-2020/feed 0
How to Become an Orthodontist Assistant in 2020 /how-to-become-an-orthodontist-assistant-in-2020 /how-to-become-an-orthodontist-assistant-in-2020#comments Tue, 09 2019 09:37:53 +0000 /?p=37 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.

You also want to make sure that you have good communication skills, great hand-eye coordination, and finger dexterity.

Work environment and schedule

Most orthodontist assistants will work Monday thru Friday with a 40 hour work week. An orthodontist assistant will normally work a 8-4 or 9-5 shift but if they work for an orthodontist who has evening hours one or two days a week the orthodontist assistant will have to work evening hours. Approximately 20% only work part-time. If there is more than one orthodontist assistant in the dental office they may take turns working the evening hours. It is highly unlikely that being an orthodontist assistant you will have to work weekends, holidays, or be on-call although if there is a dental emergency the orthodontist may request to have an orthodontist assistant to come in and help with the dental emergency.

One thing that you will need to get use to is being on your feet for most of the working day either moving around the office or standing in one place by the orthodontist when they are doing a procedure. You also need to be a people person and have a pleasant speaking voice when talking to patients, especially younger children who may be frightened. You will also have to be detailed oriented and have the ability to multitask. You will also have to know how to operate an x-ray machine and how to take x-rays as these are important for the orthodontist to see so they know what plan of treatment is correct. You may also have to do office duties such as answering the phone, attending staff meetings, making appointments, etc.

The office where an orthodontist works is clean, temperature controlled, and sterile, just as you would find in a regular dentist’s office. Working in the office you would be wearing scrubs along with masks and gloves to help protect yourself from any infectious diseases.

How to become an orthodontist assistant?

To become an orthodontist assistant most employers require a high school diploma or GED plus graduating from a training program in orthodontics. You can take this program in community colleges, private dental schools, and state agencies. Most employers prefer to hire someone with a dental hygienist or dental assisting degree.

When entering a dental assisting program you will earn an associate degree. You will be trained to support the work of an orthodontist as part of the team and in a clerical capacity. During this program you will take classes in radiology, infection control and prevention, oral anatomy and dental materials. You will also learn several dental procedures such as how to build rubber dams, polish teeth, and create dental molds. Many of these associate degree programs to become an orthodontist assistant offer an internship opportunity in order to give you some work experience doing hands-on training under the supervision of a trained orthodontist assistant. It will take approximately 2 years to obtain your associate degree. You could also learn the trade of being an orthodontist assistant through on-the-job training.

If you want to become a Certified Orthodontic Assistant the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) offers certification for orthodontist assistants. In order to get your certification you will have pass two qualifying examinations in infection control and orthodontic assisting. As of 2011 certification by the DANB for orthodontist assistances was only recognized in 38 states. Certification is required in Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland.

When trying to decide which school to attend you should choose a school that will prepare you for the certification exams because being a certified orthodontist assistant can help you earn a bigger salary and give you a slight advantage of being hired over one who is not certified. You also want to look at the range of orthodontic educational classes that the school offers and to ensure that the school program will cover orthodontic techniques and equipment that is used by orthodontics. A student going into an orthodontic assistant program should also look at the amount of practical hands-on experience the school and program offers because working as an orthodontic assistant you will be required to do a lot of hands-on work for the orthodontist. Two approaches to gaining hands-on experience is through internships and lab-based coursework so if the program offers either or both you can be assured of getting hands-on experience.

While enrolled in an orthodontist assistant program you will take classes in learning how to identify teeth, tooth alignment using dental appliances such as braces, and orthodontic tool techniques and how to use them to help correct the patient’s bite, dental office management, the different dental material used, and safety in the dental office. Other courses that may be included are orthodontic assistant procedures and orthodontic anatomy and terminology.

Orthodontist assistant salary

An orthodontist assistant salary depends on your geographical location, where you are employed, your educational level, whether you have an associate degree and certification, and how much work experience you have. Entry level salaries can range from $24,076-$45,621. There are five states that pay above the national average salary of an orthodontist assistance. These five states include New Hampshire, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Minnesota. In these states the average annual salary is $41,000-$48,000.

There is also the benefit package that your employer may offer that can include paid vacation and sick days, paid holidays, paid personal days, health and life insurance, pension, profit sharing, 401k, social security, and short and long disability insurance. If you are only working part-time you may not be offered a benefit package or one that just offers the basic paid vacation and sick days, paid holidays, health insurance, and social security and pensions.

Being an orthodontist assistant has a great job outlook with a prediction of more that 31% percent of new jobs that will offered within the next 8 years. This adds up to approximately 90,000 more jobs for orthodontist assistants that are well trained, have an associate degree, and are certified.

Comparing the hourly salary of an orthodontist assistant working in the United States you can see that the salary is better. In the United States the hourly salary is $11.63-$21.66 and in Canada an orthodontist assistant’s annual salary is CAD $10.00-$16.00 an hour. Working in Australia the average hourly rate is $20.00 and in the United Kingdom the average hourly salary is 11 pounds.

/how-to-become-an-orthodontist-assistant-in-2020/feed 0
Orthodontist Education and Schools /orthodontist-education-and-schools /orthodontist-education-and-schools#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2020 12:22:24 +0000 /?p=24 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

It will take 4 years to complete dental school and during these 4 years you will have not only classroom training but laboratory training. This training will cover different aspects of medicine and will cover everything from anatomy to pharmacology. Usually it is required to take classes in biology, physics, biochemistry, and chemistry are usually required. During the last 2 years you will be working in clinical settings under the supervision of licensed dentists in order to help you hone your skills. When you graduate from dental school you will have either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.). Most dental school programs will require you to have a background check in order to determine if you will be eligible for licensure. By the time you reach this point you will have already had 4 years of dental schooling and 2 years to get your bachelor’s degree if going full time. The Doctor of Dental Medicine and Doctor of Dental Science are both 4 year programs and are equivalent with very few differences between them.

Orthodontist residency program

After you have become a licensed dentist since you are continuing your education to become an orthodontist you may decide to be certified by the American Board of Orthodontics to help you demonstrate your expertise in orthodontics to peers and patients. In order to become certified you will have to pass both clinical and written exams. In order to keep your certification current a certified orthodontist will have to be re-certified every 10 years.

Once you have your degree you will have to have a Master of Science in Orthodontics if you want to specialize in orthodontics and become an orthodontist. These residency programs are referred to as a post-doctoral orthodontics program and will lead you to the Master’s degree you need. Most of the orthodontist programs are designed to be a 2 year program. Before you choose your orthodontist program make sure that you check out the following 3 things:

  • Curriculum—most of the programs will offer similar curriculum that combines practical experience and research instructive education. In order for the student to demonstrate the knowledge that they have gained some programs will require the students to teach both graduate-level and undergraduate-level classes. When checking out the program’s curriculum you will see if this is a requirement of the program.
  • Faculty—before seeking admission into a program you should investigate how many faculty members are full time and part time. There are many of the programs that have part time faculty who are practicing orthodontists. Based on them already having practice in the field they can offer the students some real-world instruction.
  • Practice options—some schools will offer formal practice and because orthodontia is a practice field you will be expected to complete an interactive experience. During this interactive experience they will give clinical treatment to patients. Many of the programs will work in conjunction with clinics and private practices of orthodontists to offer the students on-site internship opportunities. There may be a few schools that will offer orthodontic services at on-campus facilities. If this is the case students may be charged a usage fee that will be more than $10,000 per year so this is a very important check point that you should look for before selecting a program.

This program will combine labs, clinical experience, and classroom work. In every state you will have to have both a dental license along with a license to practice orthodontics. In addition most orthodontist will seek board certification also. Getting your Master’s degree will require another 2-3 years of schooling. To get into a Master’s degree program most admission officers will take into consideration their GPA (grade point average) in all of the schooling you have completed, your high school GPA, a recommendation from the dental school you attended ending with a personal interview.

Some of the classes you will take to become an orthodontist can include:

  • Principles of orthodontics
  • Management of craniofacial anomalies
  • Materials science
  • Research methods
  • Orthodontic techniques
  • Oral histology and pathology

Most postgraduate orthodontic programs will also offer the student training in the business aspects of establishing and running their own private practice so check the program to see if these classes are part of the curriculum. While studying to be an orthodontist you will typically take clinical rotations and classroom courses simultaneously.

Some of the best orthodontist schools include:

  • University of Tennessee
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Maryland
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • University of Texas
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • Harvard University

As you can see there are some orthodontist residency programs either in the same university as the dental schools or close by so you will not have to go out of state to get into an orthodontist residency program

Licenses and certification

Once you have graduated you will have to be licensed by the state in which you are setting up or joining a practice in order to become a practicing orthodontist. In order to get that license you must have successfully completed the written National Board Dental Examination, pass state clinical tests, and graduated from an accredited dental school. There may also be additional orthodontics licensure that is required by your state so make sure to check and see if these are needed in order to get your license to practice.

You can also pursue optional certification through The American Board of Orthodontics or the National Board of Orthodontics. In order to get either of these certifications you will have to have experience as a practicing orthodontist and have graduated from a certified dental program. You will also have to pass a series of additional case studies and written exams. Certification is optional and approximately only 20% are certified. If you do become certified you will have the title of a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics, which is the highest achievement you can have in the dental profession. Although it is optional to become Board Certified it will help you to have more prestige and an increase in salary.

If you are seeking certification through the National Board of Orthodontics in order to renew it you will have to meet certain continuing education requirement. If you are seeking certification through The American Board of Orthodontics, which is recognized by the American Dental Association, you will have to periodically take recertification exams.

You can find continuing education courses that meet the criteria to renew your certification through the National Board of Orthodontics through dental health organization and local colleges. Some of the continuing education courses include addressing technological advances that have been made in the field of dentistry and orthodontics like new tools or techniques that are available to orthodontists, or diagnostic equipment and nutrition.

In Conclusion

Yes, it does take many years of school both classroom and clinical in order to receive your license to become an orthodontist but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the growth in the orthodontist field is expected to increase by 21% during 2010-2020. This shows that there will always be a need for orthodontists, making it a great professional dental field to pursue.

/orthodontist-education-and-schools/feed 0
Orthodontist Assistant /orthodontist-assistant /orthodontist-assistant#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2020 13:21:21 +0000 /?p=11 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.

Being an orthodontist assistant requires you to have precision skills that can take time to develop so some orthodontists will require you to have extensive on-the-job training before you can start to work with them one-on-one. There are some orthodontists who will first teach their new orthodontist assistants important people skills so they can help put the patients at ease while they are having their dental procedure done. You may also start out working as a regular dental assistant or working in the front office where you will check patients in, schedule their next appointment, keep the charts up-to-date, answering the phones, and many other clerical duties and slowly work your way into becoming an orthodontist assistant for which you are trained for.

Orthodontist assistant work schedule/environment

They mostly work in an orthodontist office but can work wherever the orthodontist does as they are an orthodontist’s “right hand.” An orthodontist assistant will normally work a 40 hour week during the day but if the orthodontist office offers late night or half day Saturday appointments they may be required to do so. If the office has two or more orthodontist assistants they may take turns working the half day on Saturday and whatever week nights the office is opened late.

Education needed to become an orthodontist assistant

The medical field for orthodontist assistants is growing rapidly so this is a great field of medicine to get into. Although there are programs that teach a person to become an orthodontist assistant there are some that do not have a degree but have gotten their training and skills on the job. To become an orthodontist assistant the requirements to do so vary from state to state. Although it is possible to get your skills and training working in an orthodontist office most employers prefer to hire an orthodontist assistant who can perform advanced tasks and have completed a formal orthodontist assistant program. It is also advisable if you know in high school that you are planning a career as an orthodontist assistant you should make sure that you are taking as many science classes as possible such as biology and health science.

You can get your formal education through dental assisting programs that will in the end give you a certificate, associate’s degree, or diploma. If you are interested in furthering your education you can take this program at a community or junior college, technical institutions, or trade school. Before committing yourself to a program make sure that it is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. You may also be required to be certified in CPR.

After completing your education you will see that most states require orthodontic assistants to obtain certification or a license. To get your license you have to also pass an exam in addition to graduating from a program. In most states you will have to take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam. This exam is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Once you have this license, have graduated from an accredited program or have 2-4 years of experience assisting the orthodontist, be CPR certified before you are given the opportunity to earn the Dental Assisting National Board’s Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) certification. This exam has 2 parts which are orthodontic assisting and infection control. Having this certification could help to qualify the orthodontist assistant ability to handle the advanced clinical duties that are specific to the fields of orthodontics.

There are 4 different ways you can qualify to take the orthodontic assisting part of the exam to become a Certified Orthodontic Assistant which include:

  • Working as an orthodontist assistant but you must have at least 3.500 hours of work experience. You can also have the credentials of a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) or Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). You also need CPR certification.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED along with at least 3.500 working hours as an orthodontist assistant and CPR certification.
  • Complete an orthodontist assistant course that is part of a Dental Assistant program that is properly accredited.
  • Being a Certified Orthodontic Assistant now or formerly or graduate from a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program. You must also have CPR certification.

You can take the infection control part of the exam without any requirements.

Enrolling in orthodontist assistant programs and schools can take from 7 weeks to 12 months to finish. If you want after becoming an orthodontist assistant you can further your education by obtaining the Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting or Orthodontic Assisting. To be able to get either of these two certificates you will need to complete another 2 years of schooling. In this program you will have to complete either an externship or internship in a dental clinic. You will also have classes in dental materials used, oral anatomy, infection prevention, and radiology. During these 2 years you will also learn how to create dental impressions, rubber dam building, and polishing teeth.

Salary of an orthodontist assistant

As with any job the salary is usually based on where the office is located such as a large city or rural area, how much education and experience the orthodontist assistant has, the geographical location, and how many orthodontist assistants are working in the practice. Whether it is a private practice, partnership, or group practice may also factor in on how much their average annual salary they would receive.

There is also the benefit package that most employees receive when working for a company or office. Generally the benefit package will include paid vacation and sick days, paid holidays, life insurance, health insurance that may also cover the family, vision and dental insurance, 401K, profit sharing, pension, social security, long and short term disability, uniforms, etc. What the exact benefit package entails depends on the orthodontist office you are working for.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 an orthodontist assistant earned an average annual salary of $35,080 but has increased in the past 2 years. At this time the highest paying orthodontist assistant paying position was working with insurance companies. This place of employment was paid an average annual salary of $41,420. In metropolitan areas the highest salary area was in San Francisco, California at the average annual salary was $47,280. On average an orthodontist assistant can have an average annual salary of $23,924-$45,632.

If you are an orthodontist assistant with various specialties and certifications you can earn an average hourly wage of:

  • $11.92-$21.42 with an x-ray license
  • $11.80-$22.19 with CPR certification
  • $12.11-$24.07 being a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA)
  • $11.49-$21.91 being a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
  • $11.36-$23.44 being a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
  • $11.96-$21.65 being a Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) Dental Assisting
  • $14.67-$25.08 being a Expanded Function Orthodontic Assistant (EFODA)
/orthodontist-assistant/feed 0
Orthodontist Salary and Career Guide /orthodontist-salary-and-career-guide /orthodontist-salary-and-career-guide#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2020 12:29:58 +0000 /?p=8 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.


Training to be an orthodontist can be a challenge. After earning a 4-year bachelors degree, the next step is 4 additional years of dental school to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree from an accredited dental school. From there, it’s two or three more years in a post-doctoral residency program and more specialized orthodontic training which typically earns an M.S. Degree.

Practical experience in applied orthodontics is earned during the degree program through completion of supervised clinical rotations. During these rotations, orthodontists learn valuable skills in patient care as well as hands-on practice on model teeth and actual patients. Orthodontic students demonstrate proficiency thorough the experiences of common orthodontic procedures. An orthodontist right out of residency may have as $100,000 to $400,000 in student loans which need to be repaid.

Licensing and Certification

All orthodontists, like dentists, must pass the National Board Dental Examinations administered by the American Dental Association in order to be be licensed to practice in each state. Optional certification may also be sought through the National Board of Orthodontics or the American Board of Orthodontics. Recertification exams are required periodically through the ADA’s American Board of Orthodontics. Renewal of certification through the National Board of Orthodontics is granted by completion of certain continuing education requirements.

Licensing requirements for orthodontists vary from state to state, however, most states typically require an orthodontist to complete dental school and pass dental board examinations and state licensing exams. If an orthodontist wants to specialize in a particular field, completion of additional examinations is typically required.

Possible Career Paths

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for orthodontists are projected to increase by about 20% through 2020. Some attribute this need for more orthodontists as a good number of baby boom generation orthodontists are finally retiring in the next few years.

Private Practice

Orthodontists who work by themselves or with other professionals in private practice typically make more money than those who opt for employment with a larger firm, clinic, dental practice or other health care facility. There are advantages and disadvantages to the private practice business model. The biggest advantage is financial reward. Private practice means working only when necessary. The biggest disadvantage to private practice is taking out a huge loan to cover the cost of all the necessary equipment, employees and all the other things necessary to run a private practice.

Those considering private practice should be certain to hire trusted financial professionals to assist in daily business operations. Hire an accountant to keep an eye on the books, a qualified assistant to help out and a competent office manager to handle clients, billing, financial arrangements, scheduling and other office duties. It also helps to have a good head for business.

Continuing Education

Opportunities for advancement and professional development are available to orthodontists through professional associations like the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics or the American Association of Orthodontists. These organizations provide workshops, seminars and online resources for continuing education and practice management. Other educational opportunities and libraries containing orthodontist journal articles are also available. Another option for orthodontists is enroll in a Ph.D. program which is necessary to pursue a career in research or teaching.

Manufacturers or dental health organizations may also provide opportunities to learn about the latest technological advances in the field of orthodontics. Other groups may offer courses on nutrition, proper uses of diagnostic equipment, newly developed techniques or new tools developed specifically for orthodontists.

Training to be an orthodontist can seem a bit daunting, however, the financial and personal rewards can be quite significant. Not only do orthodontists make a great deal of money, they also help people look and feel better about themselves – and that is a good thing.

/orthodontist-salary-and-career-guide/feed 0