Orthodontics is one of the fastest growing fields in the healthcare industry. Therefore, becoming an orthodontic assistant could be an excellent career choice for people interested in a healthcare job in the dentistry field.
Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of an orthodontic assistant are very different than that of a dental assistant. For example, unlike dental assistants, orthodontic assistants spend more time working individually with a patient than they do actually assisting the orthodontist. The main responsibility of a dental assistant is to assist the dentist during procedures, suction, and pass instruments. Orthodontic assistants are a lot more independent with the freedom and flexibility to use their own judgment, in most cases.
While good communication and listening skills are helpful, finger dexterity, good hand to eye coordination, attention to detail and the ability to work independently are skills that a good orthodontic assistant should possess as well. The duties and responsibilities of an orthodontic assistant often vary from state to state however, these are the most common tasks: taking impressions in patients’ mouths, taking x-rays, changing out wires and brackets, writing up or typing up patient charts, giving oral hygiene instructions and sterilizing instruments and equipment. Many orthodontic assistants learn lab work as well. Pouring up and trimming patient molds are common practice by the assistants in an orthodontic office.