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Career Profile: Orthodontists

Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 6,400 people employed as orthodontists in the United States. The median annual salary is $208,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $74,020 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000 (or more) per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Adjust dental appliances to produce and maintain normal function.
  • Fit dental appliances in patients' mouths to alter the position and relationship of teeth and jaws or to realign teeth.
  • Diagnose teeth and jaw or other dental-facial abnormalities.
  • Examine patients to assess abnormalities of jaw development, tooth position, and other dental-facial structures.
  • Provide patients with proposed treatment plans and cost estimates.
  • Study diagnostic records, such as medical or dental histories, plaster models of the teeth, photos of a patient's face and teeth, and X-rays, to develop patient treatment plans.
  • Instruct dental officers and technical assistants in orthodontic procedures and techniques.
  • Prepare diagnostic and treatment records.
  • Design and fabricate appliances, such as space maintainers, retainers, and labial and lingual arch wires.
  • Coordinate orthodontic services with other dental and medical services.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
6,400
Annual Openings:
200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
8%
Annual Salary Range:
$74,020 - $208,000
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher