Interested in Orthodontic Assisting Training?
Interested in becoming an orthodontic assistant? Traditionally, the training for orthodontic assistants was typically the same as that of dental assistants. In fact, there are very few, if any, specific orthodontic assistant training programs available, which is why Dr. Monica Goldenberg founded OrthoIQ. She and other orthodontists in the area were frustrated with having to fully train every assistant they hired in orthodontics.
The duties of both careers are similar, and what is not learned in dental assisting school one can learn on-the-job as an orthodontic assistant, however, why not consider specialized training options now that there is a school available?
Orthodontic Assistant Training Programs
In Texas, a degree is not required to become a dental assistant or an orthodontic assistant. In fact, there are vocational schools that teaches the skills needed to know in about three months, like Dental Genius Assisting School. However, the certificate you will earn is not technically a degree, which means that you may have to return to school someday if you switch careers and need a college degree of some type.
For this reason, many people opt to get an associate’s degree from a community college, which should take about two years to complete. There are no bachelor’s degree programs for this career, but you can always get a degree in another subject, and follow it up with a certificate in dental assisting. This way, you have some options if you ever change careers.
In general, in Texas, getting a job as an orthodontic assistant requires at least a certificate from a dental assistant program and you are way ahead of the curve now, if you have received specialized orthodontic assistant training from a school like OrthoIQ.
What to Expect from Dental Assistant Training
Whether you decide to get a certificate or an associate’s degree in dental assisting, you can expect to take courses focusing on the anatomy and physiology of the mouth, how to control infections, and how to communicate effectively with patients. You will also learn how to handle the tools used by dentists and orthodontists. Some colleges also offer a separate course that focuses on orthodontic assisting, which will teach you the specific skills you need to know in this career. In addition, if you get an associate’s degree, you will also need to take general courses that focus on your math and language skills.
In order to get into dental assisting programs before becoming an orthodontic assistant, you typically just need a high school diploma. Most programs also claim that students who do the best tend to have taken courses covering biology and chemistry, but this describes most high school students.
Licensure Required for Texas
If you wish to perform process x-rays as a dental assistant or an orthodontic assistant, you must obtain your Registered Dental Assistant Licensure through the Texas State Board of Examiners, even after you get a degree or certificate. In order to keep the license updated, you will need also to take at least 6 continuing education courses every year.
Even after you get a job as a dental assistant or an orthodontic assistant, you may want to look into extra training. Taking classes and workshops every few years can keep your skills fresh, which can impress your employer while ensuring that patients get the best care possible. If you eventually find that you cannot advance any more as an orthodontic assistant, you can always go back to school to become a dental hygienist, office manager or go into sales. If you already have a degree of some sort, you can usually just get six months to a year of training to get a certificate in these positions. In this way, getting the proper education to become an orthodontic assistant offers various possibilities.