50 Tasks Your Orthodontic Assistants Should Be Doing

Posted by POS Course Adviser on 7/17/18 2:25 PM

Your clinical team can be a great asset. Many dentists don’t realize how much their staff can help to make their orthodontic department efficient and hassle-free. Orthodontics is the leading area of dentistry where assistants can take a significant role working chairside with patients. Here is a checklist of the tasks that our orthodontic assistants can help us with.

  1. Run the orthodontic marketing (e.g. set up posters, brochures, photo board, Facebook posts)
  2. Identify patients with potential orthodontic need
  3. Assist with the orthodontic screening (View our 9-part Ortho Screening Checklist)
  4. Assist at the 1st consultation
  5. Take intra oral photos (View our photo video tutorial)
  6. Take extra oral photos
  7. Take pan/ceph
  8. Take growth wrist x-ray
  9. Take impressions or intra-oral scan for models
  10. Take progress records
  11. Take final records
  12. Digitalize records into finished files (scanned, cropped and in 1:1 calibration)
  13. Import records into DentalCAD within the SmileStream software
  14. Trace ceph
  15. Trace models
  16. Prepare and print forms (Patient Consultation Report, Consent Form, Contract)
  17. Assist with 2nd consultation
  18. Place spacers
  19. Size bands
  20. Cement bands
  21. Re-cement bands
  22. Order appliances after patients accept treatment
  23. Fill out lab order forms
  24. Work with ortho labs
  25. Prepare bracketing set up
  26. Assist with bracketing
  27. Put on indirect bonding brackets
  28. Size archwires
  29. Tie in archwires
  30. Retie archwires for reactivation
  31. Fit cervical headgear and reverse pull headgear and discuss it with the patient
  32. Fit transpalatal arches (TPAs)
  33. Adjust and deliver lower lingual arches (LLAs)
  34. Fit functional appliances
  35. Change elastics
  36. Place open coils
  37. Place closed coils
  38. Insert split hooks
  39. Put on power chains
  40. Bond cleats
  41. Discuss orthodontic emergencies like loose brackets and poking wires (view the Orthodontic Emergencies Guide)
  42. Prepare deband set up
  43. Assist with removing bands, brackets, archwires, and cements
  44. Fabricate in-office clear retainers
  45. Fit retainers
  46. Sterilize and care for instruments
  47. Set up, order, and maintain inventory (8 supplies you’ll need to start ortho cases)
  48. Encourage and manage patients
  49. Talk to patients about referring their friends and family members who are seeking ortho treatment
  50. Check retainers for the patient in follow-up appointments

Please note: Orthodontic roles and opportunities may change by country or region. In some countries like Australia and Canada, for example, the orthodontic responsibilities listed are often done by the dental hygienist instead of the dental assistant. We encourage you to check what roles are typical and encouraged for your staff in your area.


A skilled team can improve your orthodontic efficiency and profitability immediately. To reduce the doctor’s chair time in orthodontic cases, we encourage you to train your staff to perform all tasks permitted by auxiliaries. We offer a comprehensive 3 day course with hands-on exercises which will help them gain understanding and confidence in their responsibilities. Our Assistant and Team Orthodontic Training is very popular with POS students and graduates, and doctors can attend with their staff at no additional charge.

assistant and team orthodontic training course

We’re interested to hear how you run your team! Which tasks do your orthodontic assistants do the most? Which task would you like them to learn? Reply in the comments below:

Topics: Orthodontic Tips, Current POS Students, Assistants

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