Orthodontists or "orthodontic dentists" are dental professionals who treat patients with crooked teeth or issues with their bites. They work with several other types of irregularities but the most common problem they treat is teeth that need to be straightened for cosmetic reasons. In order to determine the best plan of action orthodontists study x-rays and dental photographs. They often apply braces to patients' teeth prescribe retainers or have patients wear headgear in order to fix their improper bites. In some cases patients want treatment just to improve their appearance. However orthodontists are tasked with ensuring that their patients have well-aligned teeth for reasons such as improving their ability to chew or protecting the teeth from permanent damage. The website www.healthcaresalaryonline.com says that aspiring orthodontists must first earn a bachelor's degree with sufficient courses in biology and chemistry to satisfy pre-dental requirements. Then they attend and graduate from dental school which is a four-year- program after which they complete an orthodontic residency program that lasts from two to three years. This residency provides special training in treating the oral and facial area. Orthodontists in all 50 states must be licensed. A license can be obtained by earning a degree from a school of orthodontic dentistry that is accredited passing a national exam and applying for licensure in the state where they will practice. Job prospects for orthodontists are good especially in areas of the country that do not have many orthodontists already in practice. Most orthodontists go into private practice and their earnings grow as the practice expands. According to the website www.buzzle.com the average salary orthodontists earn in their first year of practice is approximately $90.000. With one to four years of experience their average annual salary increases to $140000 a year and within five years their average annual salary can increase to approximately $200000.

Education Required: Doctoral Degree
Avg Salary: $145000
High Salary: $200000
Low Salary: $90000
Tasks: Diagnoses problems associated with crooked teeth.
Fixes chewing problems.
Straightens patients' teeth.
Corrects facial asymmetry.
Also Called: Orthodontic Dentist
Dental Professional
Orthodontic Specialist
Additional Resources: http://www.healthcaresalaryonline.com/orthodontist-job-description.html