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What Do Orthodontist Do?

Example of Orthodontist Job Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.

Life As an Orthodontist: What Do They Do?

  • Fit dental appliances in patients’ mouths to alter the position and relationship of teeth and jaws or to realign teeth.
  • Design and fabricate appliances, such as space maintainers, retainers, and labial and lingual arch wires.
  • Instruct dental officers and technical assistants in orthodontic procedures and techniques.
  • Provide patients with proposed treatment plans and cost estimates.
  • Diagnose teeth and jaw or other dental-facial abnormalities.
  • Study diagnostic records, such as medical or dental histories, plaster models of the teeth, photos of a patient’s face and teeth, and X-rays, to develop patient treatment plans.

What an Orthodontist Should Know

Orthodontists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Invisible Braces Orthodontist
  • Dentofacial Orthopedics Dentist
  • Pediatric Orthodontist
  • Orthodontist, Small Business Owner
  • Board Certified Orthodontist

Job Outlook for Orthodontists

In the United States, there were 6,600 jobs for Orthodontist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 18.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,200 new jobs for Orthodontist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 300 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Orthodontists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Orthodontist are Arizona, Maryland, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in South Carolina, Maine, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of an Orthodontist

The typical yearly salary for Orthodontists is somewhere between $72,780 and $208,000.

Salary Ranges for Orthodontists

Orthodontists who work in Arkansas, Colorado, or Indiana, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Orthodontists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Arkansas $208,000
California $197,390
Colorado $230,400
Connecticut $211,240
Florida $204,750
Idaho $202,030
Illinois $199,050
Indiana $232,900
Iowa $267,870
Kentucky $139,450
Louisiana $129,830
Maryland $199,210
Massachusetts $282,740
Michigan $217,730
Montana $187,130
Nebraska $208,000
New Hampshire $208,000
New Jersey $274,400
New Mexico $193,750
New York $250,890
North Carolina $276,550
Ohio $228,420
Oklahoma $261,650
Oregon $208,000
Pennsylvania $258,940
South Carolina $279,610
Tennessee $219,860
Texas $188,190
Utah $113,710
Virginia $208,000
Washington $208,000
Wisconsin $209,880

What Tools do Orthodontists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Orthodontists may use on a daily basis:

  • Web browser software
  • Dolphin Imaging & Management Solutions Dolphin Management

Becoming an Orthodontist

Education needed to be an Orthodontist:

Orthodontist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Orthodontist?

Orthodontist Work Experience

Where Orthodontists Are Employed

Orthodontist Sectors

Orthodontists work in the following industries:

Orthodontist Industries


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Amy Perry via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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