My dental career began very spontaneously. I never thought I would enjoy this profession as much as I do. Changing my nursing role from general dentistry to orthodontics allowed me to learn something new which made me want to progress more within the industry. My role and responsibilities were constantly changing, and I was developing more skills, like how to take orthodontic photographs, x-rays and dental impressions. By performing these tasks you get to be more involved in patient care which has given me greater job satisfaction. But I always felt, when passing instruments to the orthodontist, I want to put my fingers in the patient’s mouth and play with the brace as the orthodontist does. When the opportunity arose for me to go on the course to become an orthodontic therapist I was delighted!
To become a qualified Orthodontic Therapist you must complete a 1 year course which includes hands-on training and end-of-term assessments. Following the successful completion of the final exam, you can register as an Orthodontic Therapist with the General Dental Council.
I worked full time prior to the course start so being away from home, living on my own in Leeds for a month as a student again was great! The course was intense but I did enjoy learning more about orthodontics and was excited to come back to work and see patients myself.
Throughout the course you are a full time student, but also working full time. Being organised and determined to achieve a good final mark really helps you to get through this first year. Having supportive friends and family is a massive boost to your motivation, as it just seems as if there are not enough days in the week to fit it all in!
After a year of hard work, it was so satisfying to hear I’d have passed the exam and was now a fully qualified orthodontic therapist.
I really enjoy the attention to detail involved in this speciality, but I especially like seeing the transformation in my patients from start to finish. I very much enjoy interacting with patients and find it really rewarding to see happy, smiling faces. Being part of a patient’s orthodontic journey gives me great satisfaction in what I do. I have really enjoyed my learning experience, and I would be happy to do it all over again if I could! Having said that, orthodontics is a subject that is constantly developing and changing, so you never really stop learning.
-A few words from Magdalena, our Orthodontic Therapist.
My amazing journey in the world of dentistry and orthodontics started when I enrolled on the dental nurse course in 2010 in Bath. My hunger for learning and gaining new skills pushed me to do additional courses like ‘Oral hygiene’ and ’Radiography’. But my real interest manifested itself when I had my own orthodontic treatment done. I thought it would be fantastic to play a part in transforming people’s smiles. Then it happened … I was given a chance to be trained as an orthodontic therapist at Contour Orthodontists!
I am currently enrolled on the Bristol Orthodontic Therapy Course and preparing for the Diploma in Orthodontic Therapy examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Gaining clinical experience in providing patient care is an essential part of the training, and it takes place at the practice. While I am a student orthodontic therapist I am always working under the close supervision of the Specialist Orthodontists.
I am enjoying being a student again and learning new things, but most of all I enjoy getting that extra patient contact and patients absolutely love the extra time spent on them.
The introduction of Orthodontic Therapy to the scope for dental care professionals has given a great career pathway for dental nurses with an interest in orthodontics. It is the ability to treat your own patients and see their end results that makes this career so worthwhile.
–A few words from Anna, our student Orthodontic Therapist.