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A Day in the Life: What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Are you considering becoming an orthodontist? If so, you can look forward to a mean hourly wage of $108.54.

Of course, there’s always the chance that you clicked on this article because you’re thinking about making an appointment. In either case, we’ve got you covered!

But have you ever wondered what does an orthodontist do? Then keep reading for an in-depth look at the world of orthodontics.

Fix Misaligned Teeth

We’ll go ahead and clear up a common misconception. Dentistry and orthodontics are two different specializations.

A dentist focuses on a patient’s overall oral health, assessing for gum disease, cavities, improper tooth growth and more. In contrast, an orthodontist focuses solely on fixing misaligned teeth. So if you’re looking to have your teeth checked out, you’re better off calling up a general dentist instead.

However, if you already know that you’re interested in braces or other alignment options, a consultation with an orthodontist can help you determine what the best course of action is.

They can apply brackets and rubber bands, help teach you to maintain your braces, and assess your overall progress.

In short, if you’re looking for someone to help fix your smile, it’s an orthodontist you’re after.

Examines Patients and Their X-Rays

An orthodontist does a few things during an initial consultation.

First, they’ll ask a few general questions about your oral hygiene. Expect questions about brushing and flossing habits, diet, the type of toothpaste used, and so on.

Once they have basic information down, they’ll get a better sense of a patient’s mouth by ordering a custom mold. If you’ve never experienced the molding process for yourself, it’s annoying enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth — literally.

Still, a patient’s mold will help an orthodontist learn about their bite patterns, tooth shape, and more.

It’s also common for orthodontists to order x-rays during a consultation.

Establishes a Friendly Relationship With Their Patients and The Community

Only about half of an orthodontist’s job takes place in the office. The rest takes place in the community!

A great orthodontist does their best to get involved with their local area, as well as professional organizations.

Dr. Brian B. Jacobus Jr. is a great example. Notice how on his website,, it points out that he’s involved with the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, and the Southern Society of Orthodontists.

An orthodontist’s job isn’t only to fix teeth but to keep learning about the latest innovations that can improve their patient’s lives.

What Does an Orthodontist Do? Final Thoughts

As we wrap things up, let’s look at the question once again. What does an orthodontist do?

More than you’d think. An orthodontist is responsible for fixing their patient’s smiles, ensuring proper dental care, and maintaining a good standing with organizations around the globe.

So while braces may not be anyone’s good idea of a good time, it’s still important to recognize the important work these professionals do daily.

Looking for more career advice? Be sure to check back with our blog for more great content like this!

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