Imagine being part of a team that helps people achieve the smiles they’ve always dreamed of. Or imagine a career where smiles are transformed and confidence is built.
As an Orthodontic Dental Assistant, you play an important role in creating life-changing transformations for patients of all ages, Whether you are a teenager or in your 60s.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about an Orthodontic Dental Assistant.
So, let’s begin.
What is an Orthodontic Dental Assistant?
An Orthodontic Dental Assistant is a part of the dental healthcare team, working alongside orthodontists to provide specialized care to patients looking for orthodontic treatment.
Their primary focus is on diagnosing and preventing dental irregularities.
These professionals are responsible for ensuring that orthodontic procedures run smoothly and patients receive the best care possible.
Orthodontic Dental Assistant Job Duties
Orthodontic Dental Assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, including:
Patient Preparation: The first and foremost duty of an Orthodontic Dental Assistant is to prepare patients for their appointments by taking initial dental impressions, X-rays, and photographs to know the exact problem.
Assisting Orthodontists: During dental procedures such as brace fittings or adjustments, Orthodontic Dental Assistants help the orthodontist by handing them various instruments and ensuring the patient is comfortable.
Educating Patients: An Orthodontic Dental Assistant educates patients on proper oral hygiene practices. It includes how to clean and maintain their braces or other orthodontic instruments.
Sterilizing Equipment: Keeping the orthodontic tools and equipment clean and sterilized is important in order to prevent infections within a dental office and Orthodontic Dental Assistants are responsible for this.
Record Keeping: They maintain patient records and treatment plans to track progress throughout the orthodontic journey of patients to avoid any issues.
Patient Comfort: Providing emotional support and comfort to patients, especially children, with anxiety or fear associated with dental treatment.
Orthodontic Dental Assistant Skills
To become a successful Orthodontic Dental Assistant you need the following skills:
Attention to Detail: You must be careful while performing your duties. A small mistake or error can impact the entire treatment outcome.
Communication Skills: Clear and effective communication with both patients and the orthodontist is important. Understanding what a patient is asking for and communicating that message to the dentist decides the effectiveness of the treatment.
Technical Proficiency: Knowledge of orthodontic instruments, equipment, and software is essential for a successful Orthodontic Dental Assistant as their duties involve taking X-rays and using the computer system for the treatment.
Empathy: Understanding and empathizing with patients’ concerns and fears during dental procedures is essential as it builds trust among the patients.
Organizational Skills: To become a successful Orthodontic Dental Assistant you must be good at managing appointments, records, and other administrative tasks.
How to Become an Orthodontic Dental Assistant
To start your career as an Orthodontic Dental Assistant, there are certain requirements that you must fulfill.
High School Diploma: You can start your career as an Orthodontic Dental Assistant by completing your high school education or obtaining a GED.
Dental Assistant Training: Get yourself enrolled in a dental assistant training program or a specialized orthodontic assisting program, which typically lasts around 9-12 months.
Certification: Though not always mandatory, obtaining certification as a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) can ultimately enhance your job prospects.
Licensing: Obtaining a license will give you an opportunity to work throughout the country.
However, it is not always necessary to get a license before you start as an Orthodontic Dental Assistant. Check your state requirements where you will be working.
Orthodontic Dental Assistant Salary
On average, Orthodontic Dental Assistants can expect to earn a competitive salary, which can range from $30,000 to $45,000 per year.
Remember that the salary of an Orthodontic Dental Assistant can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and the employer.
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