Orthodontic Technician

Repair worn and damaged dental fittings, like braces or retainers.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$21,000 – $59,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Orthodontic Technicians do?

Working primarily with plastics and metals, Orthodontic Technicians create the dental devices that Orthodontists use to align their patients’ teeth. An Orthodontic Technician works in an offsite dental laboratory or clinic, constructing appliances from scratch, and repairing broken or worn pieces that patients or their Orthodontists send in. If you’re an Orthodontic Technician, you use tools such as spatulas, pliers, torches, grinders, and polishers to work on retainers, tooth bands, and positioners of various kinds. You might specialize in one of these areas, or tackle all.

To create the appliances, you use dental impressions and x-rays, following specific instructions from the Orthodontist. You also often make models of the patients’ teeth to aid in creating devices with a specific fit. You make each appliance to order, and then send them back to the orthodontic office for a final fitting. If necessary, you make further adjustments and then send the appliance back again.

Your day revolves around receiving assignments from the Orthodontists (or multiple orthodontic offices) you work for, creating appliances with small hand tools, and then testing them to ensure quality assembly. You begin by shaping the pieces of your appliance, then grinding them down to size, carving them if necessary, and assembling the parts. You also polish the appliance and make sure it will function properly for the patient.

Should I be an Orthodontic Technician?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Orthodontic Lab Technician, Orthodontic Technician Assistant

    How to become an Orthodontic Technician

    Orthodontic Technicians often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9gaaag&chl=no+college+%2862%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29||||doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,62,62
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