Orthodontists identify, prevent and treat anomalies of the teeth, jaws, and mouth in general. They are dental specialists who mostly provide treatment of dental issues related to braces, retainers, wires, etc.
The orthodontists are responsible for straightening the teeth and correcting problems with crooked teeth (such as overbites and underbites).
In order to properly diagnose and treat dental disorders, all orthodontists need to have great analytical and problem-solving skills. And to do so, they generally work with several staff members for providing the best dental health for their patients.
Most orthodontists usually work long hours in their own dental clinics and specialize in specific types of treatments.
Also, they are highly required to keep their knowledge up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.
Orthodontists In America: What Do They Do?
Orthodontists normally see dozen of patients daily, depending on the amount of work needed for each one.
Some appointments are just basic examinations of teeth and gums or maybe simple cleaning or cavity fillings. While other patients, on the other hand, require more complex processes like root treatments or aesthetic work that can take several hours.
Orthodontists, as well as dentists, often determine their own schedules when they have their own office, which can help to create a good balance between work and personal life.
As they are likely to be the owners of their companies, besides taking care of patients, they have to control their employees, such as dental hygienists, dental assistants, technicians or receptionists.
The orthodontist will also take care of the responsibilities associated with running a regular business.
What Is The Average Salary For An Orthodontist In The USA?
The average salary for an Orthodontist is $195/year (as of 2022). The total cash earnings of the orthodontists range from $88K to $310K on the high end.
$88k - $310k
$67 - $35k
$0 - $3k
$79k - $325k
Responsibilities Of An Orthodontist
One usual workday of an orthodontist can include different responsibilities such as:
- Meeting with patients for regular dental check-ups
- Diagnosing teeth and jaw issues and abnormalities
- Developing personalized plans for treating the patient
- Preparing diagnostic records
- Adjusting dental appliances
- Analyzing patient data, etc.
One of the most important virtues of an orthodontist needs to be their attention to detail. In order to preserve the dental health of their patients, orthodontists need to be highly detail-oriented, organized, and interested in the patient’s wellbeing.
The Academic Education Of The Orthodontists
The orthodontist career requires a lengthy education and a lot of expertise. If you really want to be an orthodontist, you have to be willing to sacrifice 8-10 years of schooling in order to become a certified orthodontist.
So you will need to pass 4 years for the degree, also another 4 years at dental school, and an additional 2 years in a residency program. You must have strong persistence and dedication to finish your studies, but it will be worth the time, money, and effort.
All orthodontists will need a degree in dentistry accredited by a certified dental school and a satisfactory score achieved on the Dental Admission Test.
Lastly, orthodontist candidates, in order to get certified and practice dentistry, need to pass a difficult state exam that varies from state to state. After completion, they will be certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and will become Board Certified Orthodontist.
How Do Orthodontists Help Society?
The need for correcting constricted, asymmetrical, or bulging teeth is very old, and we can find evidence in the 8 century BC, when some people first tried to solve these kinds of anomalies.
Orthodontists play an important role in improving the overall looking of your mouth by obtaining a pleasant and harmonious relationship between the teeth and face, a beautiful and healthy smile that enhances self-esteem. That, in return, will formulate our psychological point of view and hence effectively improve our quality of life.
Orthodontists Play An Important Role In Our Health
The World Health Organization claims that malocclusion (one of the main problems that orthodontists solve) is the third problem of oral health in prevalence, as incorrect dental alignment predisposes preliminary sequels, such as:
- difficulty in maintaining proper oral hygiene
- risk of caries and periodontal disease
- functional anomalies
- temporomandibular joint problems and
- other psychosocial problems.
Being one of the high-paying careers in America is not easy. You need to work very hard to become a successful orthodontist.
But, at the end of the day, orthodontics is a very rewarding career.
To be able to change a patient’s appearance for the better can be very fulfilling for you (especially after receiving the ‘thank you’ letters from patients that you’ve changed their self-image and also their life).