Orthodontists most often use dental retainers after an orthodontic patient has had braces. Once the orthodontist removes the braces, the orthodontist fits the patient with a teeth retainer to hold the teeth in the desired position. Orthodontists generally offer the traditional Hawley type of teeth retainers, with a wire attached to a plastic base, as well as some newer styles such as the clear plastic type that entirely cover the teeth. While an important part of orthodontic treatment, it can be costly for patients to buy dental retainers. The most affordable dental retainers cost several hundred dollars.
There are several types of jobs that involve dental retainers, including laboratory workers who make the retainers, orthodontic assistants who fit the retainers, and professionals who sell retainers as well as add-ons such as dental retainer cases and products to clean dental retainers.
Explore these career options involved with dental retainers:
1. Look for opportunities for growth as a dental laboratory technician, who makes custom dental retainers for patients.
2. Explore training in dental retainer sales, working with orthodontic office staff.
3. Seek vocational training for education as an orthodontic assistant, who can fit dental retainers and work directly with patients and their families.
Look at opportunities in dental retainer salesThere is opportunity for knowledgeable salespeople in the dental field. Those candidates who have hands-on experience fitting patients with appliances such as dental retainers have an advantage over inexperienced candidates.
Seek training as a laboratory technician who makes dental retainersThe laboratory technicians who make dental retainers should pursue dental training at trade schools and through continuing education. Voluntary certification is available to ensure the highest level of professionalism for lab technicians.
U.S. government Bureau of Labor Statistics has information on training dental laboratory technicians, who make teeth retainers and other orthodontic appliances. The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology offers continuing education and voluntary certification for professionals in laboratories who make teeth retainers.