Orthodontist assistants are professionals who work closely with orthodontists, and perform a variety of tasks that range from basic dental tasks to rather complex administrative responsibilities. At the time being, orthodontics is one of the fastest growing fields in the health care industry, and the salary is certainly very competitive. The job outlook for orthodontist assistants is very encouraging as well, as the demand has increased by more than one third over the past decade. That being said, the median yearly wage of an orthodontist assistant is of approximately $39,000 a year.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
It is a known fact that orthodontist assistants, just like any other professionals, are paid different across the United States of America. The primary reason why the salaries vary so much is the living costs – the District of Columbia pays its orthodontist assistants a median yearly wage of around $45,000, while Alaska offers them little over $43,000, both states thus paying these assistants salaries that are above the national average. The state of Minnesota pays them with around $41,000 a year, and so does the state of New Hampshire. Massachusetts offers them a median yearly salary of $40,000, while Washington pays them with just over $37,000 a year.
Orthodontist Assistant Job Description
As the name of the position suggests, the primary duty of the orthodontist assistant is to actually assist the dentist or the orthodontist in every way that he needs. Simply put, the orthodontist is a dental care professional who specializes in realigning the jaws and straightening the teeth with the help of various dental appliances such as braces.
The duties and responsibilities of an orthodontic assistant vary, but generally speaking these professionals need to schedule patients, to manage the appointments and the different medical records as well as to prepare the room for the visit o the patient. It is also the duty of the orthodontist assistant to take the oral health history of the patient, to sterilize the equipment and dental devices used by the orthodontist, as well as to make the dental impressions with the help of different orthodontic hardware. These dental care specialists also remove the stitches after a dental surgery and take patients to the x-ray rooms.
As mentioned above, it is not uncommon for the orthodontic assistant to also handle different administrative tasks, from setting the appointments and billing the patients to taking payments and maintaining patient records. These professionals are needed in the surgery room as they work closely to orthodontists, and they need to pass the instruments, to use suction devices and to assist the dentist during various dental procedures, both invasive and non-invasive.
Working as an orthodontist assistant does require some degree of formal, academic training coupled with some basic skills such as good interpersonal and communication skills, a good finger dexterity as well as an impeccable hand-eye coordination. In addition to the tasks and responsibilities described above, these professionals commonly change out the wires and the brackets and also educate the patients on how to maintain a good oral hygiene.
How To Become An Orthodontist Assistant?
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The first step towards pursuing a lucrative career as an orthodontist assistant in the dental care industry is to actially enroll in an accredited dental assisting training programs. These programs are offered widely across the United States of America and they can be found at most vocational schools and community colleges these days.
After finishing the training program, the orthodontist assistant can get either an Associate’s Degree or a Certificate in dental assisting, both of which aim to prove that the assistant in question is skilled and knowledgeable enough. The Associate’s Degree training program typically takes two years to complete, and it encompasses technical training with clinical training and general coursework in dental science, dental emergencies, preventive dentistry, infection control as well as advanced radiography.
The certification programs are available after completing the Associate’s Degree training programs, or you can choose to enroll in such a program right after graduating from high school. The dental assisting certificate is the most common option for orthodontist assistants these days.
Orthodontist Assistant Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
In Canada, an orthodontist assistant makes between Ca$10,00 and Ca$16,00 per hour, while in Australia they usually get around Au$20,00 per hour. In the United Kingdom, the median hourly wage of an orthodontist assistant is of 11 pounds per hour.
Verdict On Orthodontist Assistant Salary
To conclude, becoming an orthodontist assistant requires minimal training and the salary is highly competitive!