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Career profile Orthodontist

Also known as Board Certified Orthodontist; Orthodontist; Orthodontist, Small Business Owner; Orthodontist, Vice President; Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Orthodontist

Also known as Board Certified Orthodontist; Orthodontist; Orthodontist, Small Business Owner; Orthodontist, Vice President; Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$74,020 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Biology
Core tasks
  • 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.
  • Adjust dental appliances to produce and maintain normal function.
  • Examine patients to assess abnormalities of jaw development, tooth position, and other dental-facial structures.
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What does an Orthodontist do?

Orthodontists examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies.

In addition, Orthodontists design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.

What kind of tasks does an Orthodontist perform regularly?

Orthodontists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.
  • Adjust dental appliances to produce and maintain normal function.
  • Examine patients to assess abnormalities of jaw development, tooth position, and other dental-facial structures.
  • Diagnose teeth and jaw or other dental-facial abnormalities.
  • Fit dental appliances in patients' mouths to alter the position and relationship of teeth and jaws or to realign teeth.
  • Instruct dental officers and technical assistants in orthodontic procedures and techniques.
  • Provide patients with proposed treatment plans and cost estimates.
  • Prepare diagnostic and treatment records.
  • Design and fabricate appliances, such as space maintainers, retainers, and labial and lingual arch wires.
  • Coordinate orthodontic services with other dental and medical services.

The above responsibilities are specific to Orthodontists. More generally, Orthodontists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is an Orthodontist salary?

The median salary for an Orthodontist is over $208,000, and the average salary is $237,990. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Orthodontist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Orthodontists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Orthodontists earn less than $74,020 per year, 25% earn less than $150,250, 75% earn more than $208,000, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Orthodontists is expected to change by 7.8%, and there should be roughly 200 open positions for Orthodontists every year.

Median annual salary
Over $208,000
Typical salary range
$74,020 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.8%

What personality traits are common among Orthodontists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Orthodontist are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Social interests.

Orthodontists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Orthodontists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Orthodontists typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Orthodontist tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Orthodontists very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Orthodontists very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Orthodontists very strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Orthodontists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Orthodontists, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Orthodontists need?

Many Orthodontists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Orthodontists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Orthodontists

  • 2.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 97.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Orthodontists

Orthodontists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, customer and personal service, or biology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Orthodontists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Important Abilities needed by Orthodontists

Orthodontists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Orthodontists need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Orthodontists, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Orthodontists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Orthodontists frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Orthodontists, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.