The responsibilities of an orthodontic dental assistant take into account the study as well as treatment of malocclusions which also refer to the improper bites that sometimes occur within the mouth. It is the orthodontic assistant who is responsible for studying various functions such as disproportionate jaw relationships as well as tooth related irregularities. In fact, the very term orthodontics refers to straight or proper tooth. The role of the orthodontic assistants is to focus on dental displacement or control as well as the modification of facial growth. The latter case is also better known as dento facial orthodontics.
The academic qualifications of the orthodontic dental assistant are a high school degree that is often required. Some of the states in the US also require orthodontic assistants to have a 2 year college degree for hiring the orthodontist who is then provided with on the job training, although this is a procedure that is considered too slow for meeting the needs of the modern day.
The skill sets of orthodontic assistants include using the high powered brushes for removing any kind of debris or blot that might have accumulated in the brackets. You must also know to use orthodontic cement as one of the most important parts of the job that depends on the length and duration that is required for a person to wear the braces. Ample time is spent in making as well as adjusting retainer devices. Skills in customer service are useful for the orthodontic assistant as is knowledge in computers. Computing knowledge helps in maintaining the dental records in a digital manner.
You can go for training as an orthodontic assistant for most community schools and colleges as well as trade schools although you do not really need professional licensing. The courses cover a variety of procedures, the most important among them being effective cleaning techniques as well as replacement of the bracket tensioners.
Prior experience in the field of becoming an orthodontic assistant helps a lot. One of them is the knowledge that you acquire in dealing with a patient's teeth. In fact, some orthodontic assistants work on the reconstruction of the entire facial structure of the patient instead of solely focusing on the teeth. Their job is to provide the patient with an occlusion, which refers to a bite that is functionally improved. In fact, a lot of orthodontic assistants work under the supervision of the orthodontists for understanding the daily needs of the patients.
The global career prospects as well as employment outlook of the orthodontic dental assistant are good as has been predicted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. A lot of the percentage of the US population is aging and you can thus estimate that the job prospects of an orthodontic assistant will help you get a good job.
The average salaries of the orthodontic assistants are between $15,000 and $20,000 on an annual basis. Meanwhile, in order to bag a better job, you can work on your experience as well as educational qualifications. The salaries often come with added benefits.
The job of the orthodontic assistant is to work hands on with children, although this work can last for up to a decade as correcting the alignment of the tooth and jaws requires a long time. Often, the patient has to wear braces and the orthodontic dental assistant has to place the patients in a dental chair and examine the teeth and dental appliances. The orthodontic assistants provide fluoride treatments to the patient as well as prepare the instruments that are required by the orthodontist to work. The cleaning process may require replacing tension bands from the brackets with new ones for the safe functioning of your teeth.