An orthodontic assistant is a dental assistant who works with patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment and need some type of orthodontic appliance, such as braces, retainers or mouth guards, installed or maintained.
One of the first people you’ll meet at the orthodontist’s office will be the orthodontic assistant. They meet the patient, take X-rays of their mouth, take photographs and take impressions of the patient’s teeth.
They also prepare the patient for the orthodontist, perform simple tasks such as tightening braces, and conduct a preliminary examination. In addition orthodontic assistant is being responsible for sterilization of equipment and maintenance of orthodontic supplies.
Being an orthodontic assistant is very different from being a dental assistant. A dental assistant sits next to the dentist and passes him instruments and assists in the procedures. An orthodontic assistant is much more independent, performing hands on orthodontic procedures under the supervision of an orthodontist. Orthodontic assistants also work in the lab, pouring and shaping molds from the impression they took earlier. In addition, orthodontic assistant can make simple orthodontic appliances such as retainers or space maintainers.