In the industry of healthcare, one of the fields growing very fast is Orthodontics. Therefore, those who are interested in having their career choice in the dentistry field have a very great option in becoming an orthodontic assistant.
The advantages of abounding from a good salary to a relatively short education and orthodontic assistant training requirement, and a career that has a great social reputation. According to reports from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next 6 years, orthodontic and dental assistant careers are predicted to grow by an amazing 31%. If you will love to learn how to restore people’s smile by learning about jaw alignment and teeth positioning, this would definitely be the right job for you.
Over 80% of the orthodontic assistants are females. Although this is not a requirement for the job, it can be traced to females having smaller hands that would word in small spaces like mouths than males. However, choosing to be an orthodontic assistant could turn out to be a great choice for men too. Today, most orthodontists have taken the technology way and they are up to date. They have stopped being stereotypic but now open-minded and ready to try new innovations. This makes it less strenuous and quite enjoyable to work for them in an environment that is team oriented.
Duties and Responsibilities
There is a difference between the duties of an orthodontic assistant and a dental assistant. For example orthodontic assistants spend more time working individually with a patient than directly working with the orthodontist, and this is a major difference from a dental assistant. While in most cases, an orthodontist assistant is free and independent, able to use her own judgment, a dental assistant’s major duty is to help the dentist during procedures, suction, and when there are needs for certain instruments.
There are certain skills a good orthodontic assistant must have. It is desirable to have good communication and listening skills, but a perfect hand to eye coordination, finger dexterity, ability to work independently, and ability to give close attention to details must be added. Although the duties of an orthodontic assistant may exhibit slight changes across different states, the basic ones remain taking x-rays, changing out brackets and wires, taking impressions in patients’ mouths, developing patient charts, passing instructions of oral hygiene, and sterilizing equipment and instruments. A lot of orthodontist assistants also learn lab work. Also, in an orthodontic office, pouring up and trimming patient molds are regular practices of orthodontic assistants.
Education and Training
The first thing you have to do in becoming an orthodontic assistant is getting to know what it requires in your state. In some states, you must have a formal education and/or a certificate program that you may have to pursue for about a year or two. In other states, all you have to do is get trained as an apprentice. A lot of orthodontists are always ready to give orthodontic assistant training to whoever is dedicated and really passionate to learn.
Salary and Hours
The pay of an orthodontic assistant is good and the working hours are friendly. Most orthodontists only work for about 4 days in a week. So, an orthodontic assistant does not have to work for forty hours a week, it is an average of thirty hours each week. The average salary that a dental or orthodontic assistant earns per hour is $11.10 to $22.80 according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Orthodontics as a field is growing at over double when compared to other occupations in other industries. It means there are better employment opportunities as well as better chances of long-term job security. Many orthodontists stay informed and up to date through continuing education. This means there is a chance for more training and development for the assistants. If you are interested in this health career, why wait? Take the bold step to joining the few people doing a great job that gives pleasure to both the doer and the community. Start your orthodontic assistant training now at Top Nova Ortho School.