Orthodontist Career - Salary, Duties & Job Information

Orthodontists Career Description

Orthodontists are teeth or dental specialist on the prevention, correction and treatment of dentofacial structures such as improper bites called malucclusions that may result to disproportionate jaws relationships and or tooth irregularities. In other words they straighten up teeth and leave patients with a beautiful smile.

Duties and Responsibilities

They administer treatment to patients by putting braces or retainers, or through surgery to improve their ability to speak and chew properly and even minimize or stop snoring. They also help facial enhancement. Among an Orthodontist duty is to give diagnoses by taking x-rays or making patients bite into a mold to know the conditions of the teeth. They conduct regular dental exams in children before all permanent teeth erupt, to prevent damage of teeth or correct a budding dental problem. They team up with other medical practitioners and other specialists to collaborate on certain types of treatment, where other diseases, other than teeth related, are involved. They also take care of the business as well as administrative matters in their clinic.

Work Environment

An Orthodontist works usually in a sanitary environment. They work in clinics, laboratory and offices - usually owned by them - which operate in business centers where patients could easily access. They work more than forty hours a week and respond to emergency calls as needed. More hours are spent by solo practitioners as they also take care of administrative matters.

Employment Opportunities

Orthodontist can be self-employed by running their own businesses or engaging in consultancy. Orthodontist opportunities can also be found in a company of orthodontists and other doctors and health care providers. Brace are becoming more and more popular nowadays, so it isn't as hard to find Orthodontist opportunities as it used to be.

How much does an Orthodontist make - Orthodontist Salary and Wages

Beginners make between $150,000 and $200,000 per year as salary. Longtime practitioners who have established their business and reputation can earn between $400,000 and $500,000. The salary alone for first year of practice is at least $90,000. In the first four years, they could make $142,000 for their Orthodontist salary range. Hourly rate could rise from $50 to $150 in a span of nineteen years.

Their bonuses are at par with the other medical doctors in the industry. In less than one year, they could get as much as $5,000 while the practitioner of twenty years or more gets 200% more. As for annual average vacation weeks, they could only have around 1.7 weeks. However, the orthodontists who are twenty years old or more in the profession they can go on vacation for more than three weeks.

How to become an Orthodontist

Educational and Training

An Orthodontist is basically a trained dentist, who obtains his or her Orthodontist degree in an accredited school (5 years undergraduate course). They take a licensure examination required by the State for the practice of the profession, and finished a post-graduate course specializing in orthodontics. Sometimes additional studies are required to be able to become an Orthodontist.

Common Orthodontist courses include Customer and Personal Service, Education and Training, English Language, Economics and Accounting, Psychology, Administration and Management, Personnel and Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Biology, Medicine and Dentistry.

Other Qualifications and Skills

The work requires knowledge and Orthodontist skills in business administration and customer relations. It also requires self-disciple to be able to work longer hours and attend to details of the job. As a specialist, an optometrist is required to uphold medical ethics.


Additional training and updating on the latest trends in Orthodontics are available for those who wish go further in their profession.

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