Everyone knows dentists specialize in some fields, such as orthodontics, periodontics, and more, but did you know dental assistants can expand their skill set and knowledge by opting for a certain field of dentistry as well? For instance, orthodontics focus on the structure of teeth and jaws, helping their patients align their teeth in proper positions. This aspect of dentistry can be fulfilling and fun for dental assistants, especially if they have a flair for learning about this area. So, to learn all about dental assistants and orthodontics, carry on reading this blog.

What is the Difference Between Dental Assistants & Orthodontic Assistants?

You might be wondering how exactly dental assistants are different from orthodontic assistants. While they have essentially the same job, here are some differences between the two

  1. Purpose: Both fields require the candidate to provide healthcare and cosmetic services. However, the difference lies in their purpose – dental assistants assess as well as maintain gum and teeth health. In contrast, orthodontic assistants are concerned with the structure of teeth and jaw, correcting their positions.
  2. Procedures: Another difference lies within the procedures both professionals are trusted with. An orthodontic assistant assists with X-rays, Brading, Bonding, Archwires, Impressions, and Photograph. On the other hand, dental assistants perform Bonding, Crowns, Bridges, Fillings, Tooth Extractions, and Sutures, among many others.
  3. Tools: Different procedures require various tools, which means dental assistants and orthodontic assistants deal with different equipment. A dentist uses dental drills, excavators, mouth mirrors, and sickle probes. Orthodontic assistants, too, are experts on devices of their own such as braces, retainers, UV curing lights, etc. There are some similar devices that orthodontics and dentists use, too, as they are from the same industry in the end.
  4. Career: Dental Assistants and orthodontic assistants both have distinguished career paths. When they gain sufficient experience, dental assistants can become dental hygienists, dentists, nurses, and even dental office managers. Orthodontic assistants can choose similar paths, but they also have the option to become a full-time orthodontist.
  5. Requirements: Assistants do not have the same educational requirements as dentists or orthodontists do. To enroll in an orthodontist assistant training program, one would need a high school diploma or a GED along with a CPR certificate. Dental assistants would require a high school diploma or GED along with CPR as well to enroll in community colleges, technical schools, or dental assisting programs.

What’s the Takeaway?

Both dental assistants and orthodontic assistants help with the procedure in their respective fields. While a dental assistant’s career focuses more on teeth and gum health as well as cleaning, orthodontics focus on the structure of teeth and jaw. This allows them to learn more about the different aspects of dentistry, and they can pursue careers of their interests as well.

If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, Greatwood Dental Assistant Program is available at (281) 728-6012, or give us a visit at 19875 SW Freeway, Suite 120A, Sugar Land, Texas 77479 to explore more.

Greatwood Dental Assistant Program
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