Medical Professions Resources Directory: Orthodontist

How To Become a...

How To Become an Orthodontist


Like every medical profession the orthodontist branch also has several different opportunities that are available. There are orthodontic chair side assistant, orthodontic laboratory technician, and orthodontic office administrator.

Being an orthodontist is a rewarding job. Orthodontists help their patients get over their fear of not smiling because they have bad teeth structure. To be an orthodontist your personality should have charm and happiness in it. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) was founded in 1900 which now has over 14,600 members now in the United States. AAO members limit their practice to dental specialty or Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Orthodontists are dental specialists with at least two years of advanced orthodontic education after completing dental school.

As a member of the American Association of Orthodontists the purpose of the members are: to advance the art and science of orthodontics; to encourage and sponsor research; to strive for and maintain the highest standards of excellence in orthodontic education and practice; and to make significant contributions to the health of the public.

Orthodontists are specialists in bringing teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment. The abnormalities that orthodontists treat are “bad bite” or “facial disharmonies” which also is a term called, “malocclusion”. Being an orthodontist delivers life long changed benefits for their patients.

A successful orthodontist like orthodontic offices might have to depend on some other professionals and clerical staff team to make the office more fast pace and more functional. Those professions might be: treatment coordinator, scheduling coordinator, financial administrator, clinical coordinator, Orthodontic Technician/Assistant, Orthodontic Laboratory/Technician, Instrument Coordinator.

Each different orthodontic position requires different levels of education. For instant, an Orthodontic Chairside Assistant requires responsibilities like: assist the orthodontist with treatments, take x-rays/records, educates the patient about oral health and overall health, serves as a key communication link between the patient and the doctor, prepares teeth for the placement of brackets, makes orthodontic wires, and instructs the patient. An orthodontic chairside assistant plays the key role in motivating patients to do what needs to be done to help them get better results from their orthodontic treatment. Other requirements to be an orthodontic chairside assistant are: high school diploma, customer service skills, excellent eye/hand coordination, computer skills to input patient records and computer imaging, a certificate and orthodontic special training.

To become an Orthodontic Laboratory Technician the responsibilities are to prepare orthodontic study models, make orthodontic retainers, design appliances for tooth and bone movement, coordinate office needs with outside labs. An Orthodontic Laboratory Technician might also work with the orthodontist to develop skills for making new appliances that will work good for the patient. The education requirements are: high school diploma, excellent eye/hand coordination, computer skills, certificate, and possible special training.

To become an Orthodontic Office Administrator the responsibilities are to schedule appointments, clerical and bookkeeping duties, prepare financial arrangements for patients, phone contacts with patients, family dentists, and customer service relations. The education requirements are: high school diploma, customer service skills, good spoken and written communication skills, business training and/or experience, computer skills, for patient record keeping, billing and scheduling.

To become an orthodontist you first need to complete college, then go to three to four year graduate program at a dental school in a university or an institution that is accredited by American Dental Association (ADA). Then there is a two to three years of advanced specialty education in an ADA accredited orthodontic residency program. To be an orthodontist you should know advanced knowledge about biomedical, behavioral and basic sciences. An orthodontist knows both tooth movement management and guide facial development.

There are some dentists who call themselves orthodontists have completed the advanced specialty education.





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