Home Business & Finance What is the Typical Orthodontist Salary?

According to various data, the median orthodontist salary in the United States of America is around $127,000 per year. When it comes to hours, the median salary is about $61 per hour. In percentages, it appears that the lowest 10th percentile of orthodontists have a salary of around $105,000 of less per year (which in hourly terms is around $40 per hour), whereas the top 10th percentile of the orthodontist workforce receive an annual wage of around $180,000 or more. The middle 50% of all the orthodontist workforce in the United States earn around $104,000 and $154,000 per year, which is between $50 and %74 per hour.

Naturally, just like in any other professions, the salary of an orthodontist varies greatly depending on a plethora of factors, such as location of employment, type of establishment (a hospital, government, outpatient care facility, private practice or physician’s office), size of establishment, education, training and last but not least, years of experience.

Just like many medical professionals, orthodontists have several benefits in addition to their salary, such as social security contributions, health care, 401K/403B, bonuses, pension and paid time off.

orthodontist salary

Job Description for Orthodontist

So, what does an orthodontist do? When asked this question, most people will tell you that an orthodontist straighten the crooked teeth of people with the help of braces. But, and this may or may not come as a shock, but orthodontists do so much more than put on braces on people. They also help straighten crooked jaws, and install devices such as spacers and retainers. They also help correct facial asymmetry, shifting jaws, chewing problems and protruding teeth. So, if you have a snaggle tooth that you want to correct, then you don’t need a dentist, you need an orthodontist.

In order to diagnose issues, an orthodontist uses x-rays and various plaster molds of the mouth and teeth. They don’t just look into their patient’s mouths and state that there is a problem that needs fixings.

When an orthodontist feel like an issue is too much for them to solve on their own, then they will work together with other dental specialists, such as dentists or dental surgeons to come up ways to correct issues and treat patients.

Aside from x-rays, orthodontists will also use drills, mouth mirrors, braces, forceps, probes and scalpels. They wear gloves, white robes and masks to protect their patients and themselves from infections. Orthodontists that work in private practices will, but they are not obliged, to take on additional responsibilities, such as supplies management, administration work and bookkeeping.

Orthodontists help treat issues for patients of all ages, they aren’t limited to adults or children alone.

In order to become an orthodontist, one must attend dental school, which lasts from three to four years and then do at least two years in a residency program that is commissioned by the American Dental Association.

In order for an orthodontist to maintain their license and be up to date about new treatments and diseases, just like any other medical professional, they will need to continuously learn and educate themselves.

Being an orthodontist is not an easy job, and sometimes it can be either tedious or too challenging. But, as is the case with any other profession, there are rewards that can outweigh the negatives.

How to Become an Orthodontist

The first and most important thing in becoming an orthodontist is education. You will need at least two years of college level pre-dental education before you can go to dental school. The majority of dentists, which include orthodontists get a bachelor’s degree before going to dental school.

Then, you will have to take the Dental Admissions Test and have good scores to get admitted to Dental School. Once in, you will spend around three to four years doing lab work and taking classes. The last two years of Dental School will include work treating patients in various dental clinics.

After, you will need to complete a graduate program in orthodontics, which lasts two years and then you will need to get a license to practice as an orthodontist. In the United States of America, candidates need to pass written and practical exams before they get their degree.

Once you get your license, you will need to get board certified as an orthodontist and then search for a job in a practice.

Orthodontist Tasks

Wondering what the tasks of an orthodontist are? Well, in short, an orthodontist will need to diagnose teeth, jaw abnormalities and any other illnesses that pertain to the dental-facial area. Orthodontists also examine patients to make assessments on the development of the jaw, tooth position and other dental-facial structures. Orthodontists also fit dental appliances in the mouths of patients with the purpose realigning teeth and altering the position and relationship of jaws and teeth in general.

Orthodontist Salary by State

Here is average annual orthodontist salary by state:

Alabama  $210,310 North Carolina  $200,910
California  $165,960 New Hampshire  $197,770
Florida  $162,850 New Jersey  $222,420
Georgia  $215,690 Nevada  $215,310
Illinois  $106,150 New York  $193,440
Indiana  $123,020 Ohio  $209,370
Kentucky  $219,690 Oklahoma  $188,330
Louisiana  $187,460 Oregon  $196,650
Massachusetts  $200,200 Pennsylvania  $216,110
Michigan  $241,080 South Carolina  $208,060
Missouri  $184,880 Texas  $239,510
Mississippi  $190,610 Washington  $154,920


After careful examination of the table, we have gathered that the top five states for orthodontists are Michigan (an orthodontist has the average annual salary of $241,080), Texas ($239,510), New Jersey ($222,420), Kentucky ($219,690) and Pennsylvania ($216,110).

At the opposite pole, the lowest-paid orthodontists are found in California ($165,960), Florida ($162,850), Washington ($154,920), Indiana ($123,020) and Illinois ($106,150).

No data was available for the states of: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Image Source: Drkamkar


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