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Training and Jobs for an Orthodontist Assistant

Updated on January 30, 2012

Orthodontist assistants take X-rays and perform other tasks in an orthodontic office. As part of the dental industry, the training for orthodontic assistants is similar to dental assisting. However, there are differences in certification and other areas.

As a type of dentistry, aspiring orthodontist assistants generally attend dental assisting schools. Those schools will either cover the skills necessary for orthodontic assisting or will provide enough training for a job in this career.

However, it is also important to also check with the state dental board to see about licensing requirements for orthodontist assistants. Some states require a license or registration, particularly because assistants work with potentially dangerous equipment like X-ray machines. Set up a plan to meet whatever training, education, and exam requirements that exist for orthodontist assistants in your state.

When choosing a dental assistant school for your orthodontic training, you should ideally select a program accredited by the American Dental Association. The ADA has a database of schools on its website. Use the link below to find the search page. Select "All" for the state to find all accredited schools or search by individual state.

To get a job as an orthodontist assistant, speak with Career Services at your dental assistant school. They should be able to help you find work. Of course, you can apply directly with orthodontist offices nationwide.

To help you find a job, certification would also be a good professional step. The Dental Assisting National Board has specialized certification as a Certified Orthodontic Assistant. To get certified, you complete your dental assistant training and then take two tests: Orthodontic Assisting and Infection Control. Download the application packet in the Resources below to find exam reference materials. Certification conveys professionalism that improves your job potential. Additionally, you may also need to take this certification exam to get a state license to assist orthodontists. You may also need to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, as well.


American Dental Association: Search Page for Dental and Orthodontist Assisting Training Schools

Dental Assisting National Board: Orthodontic Assistant Certification Exam Application Packet


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