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What Is an Orthodontic Assistant and How to Become One

What Is an Orthodontic Assistant and How to Become One Image

What Do Orthodontic Assistants Do?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who correct teeth or jaws that are misaligned. Orthodontic assistants prepare the patients for their treatment and perform simple procedures under the direction of the orthodontist. Procedures include taking x-rays and molded impressions of the patient's mouth, installing wires to braces, and tightening brackets. Unlike dental assistants who work beside the dentist, orthodontic assistants operate independently from the orthodontist, performing their tasks before and after the examination.

How to Become an Orthodontic Assistant

Most orthodontic assistants begin as dental assistants. Take a training course from a community college or vocational school to learn dental and medical terms and procedures. Programs last between 12-18 months. Once you receive your certificate, you need to take specialized training courses in orthodontics. Acquire a position at a dental office or an internship with an orthodontist to gain experience in the field. Earning a Certified Orthodontic Assistant credential may open up more opportunities as well.

Orthodontic Assistant Job Description Sample

With this Orthodontic Assistant job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember though, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for their Orthodontic Assistant position.


Our clinic is looking for a motivated, outgoing person to join our team as an Orthodontic Assistant. We specialize in creating friendly and safe environments for patients to receive the absolute best in orthodontic care. You will work with our orthodontists and dental assistants, helping with diagnosis, routine care, and treatment procedures. Other job duties include assisting with the administrative functions of the office by scheduling patients, following up with patients after treatment, and liaising with insurance representatives.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist orthodontist with treating malpositioned jaws and teeth
  • Fit and adjust braces and archwires
  • Operate X-ray machinery
  • Sterilize tools, accessories, and equipment
  • Perform administrative duties as necessary

Requirements and Qualifications

  • A high school diploma or GED certificate
  • EFDA certification
  • Active dental assisting certification
  • X-ray certification
  • CPR certification
  • Communication skills