Orthodontic Technician Salary
Job Description for Orthodontic Technician
Orthodontic technicians help design and create custom appliances used to straighten and align patients' teeth. Using molds and other images, the technician follows an orthodontist's instructions to shape and assemble appliances; these typically are in pre-designed sizes and shapes, but require intricate computer-aided milling, cutting and shaping to ensure a proper fit for each patient's mouth and needs. The technician must work carefully during this process and possess an excellent eye for detail and accuracy.Read More...
Often, an orthodontic technician works in a dedicated laboratory that handles work orders from orthodontists. However, larger dental practices may produce these appliances themselves; in this case, the technician may play a more direct role with patients, assisting in preparation for appliance installation, the actual installation and any follow-up adjustments. The technician may interact directly with patients, taking molds and performing imaging work to be used in the creation of braces, retainers and other orthodontic appliances.
While some employers perform on-the-job training, many individuals who work as orthodontic technicians receive technical school training or a community college degree in a field such as dental laboratory technology. Most technicians work during regular business hours, although hours may vary depending on their employers' needs.
Orthodontic Technician Tasks
- Construct and repair appliances for straightening teeth.
- Create and perform work according to orthodontic prescription.
- Assemble metal and plastic orthodontic appliances.
- Clean and finish dental parts with electric grinders and polishers.
- Verify the conformance to prescription specs by using articulator.
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Pay by Experience Level for Orthodontic Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Orthodontic Technicians — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. The average inexperienced worker earns $32K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $35K. Orthodontic Technicians see a median salary of $40K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Orthodontic Technicians who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $41K on average.
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