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Apprenticeship training course

Orthodontic therapist (integrated) (level 4)

A registered professional who fits, adjusts and removes braces to patient’s teeth.

Qualification level
Equivalent to higher national certificate (HNC).
Typical duration
13 months
Apprenticeship category
Health and science
Maximum funding
Maximum amount government will fund
for apprenticeship training.
Skills an apprentice will learn
  • Adhere to legal and ethical responsibilities in line with General Dental Council requirements, taking responsibility for the integrity of own actions and completed work recognising the limits of your competence and experience
  • Identify normal and abnormal facial growth, physical, mental and dental development
  • Take a patient medical and social history, checking the patient’s level of experience and expectations
  • Carry out screening for the orthodontic need for treatment either under the direction of an orthodontist or direct to patients
  • Recognise the early stages of chronic problems with the soft tissues of the mouth
  • Recognise urgent care problems related to orthodontic treatment and take appropriate action in line with their scope of practice
  • Implement and perform effective decontamination and infection control procedures
  • Communicate appropriately, effectively and sensitively
  • Maintain patient confidentiality at all times
  • Assess and manage patient anxiety, discomfort or challenging behaviour through effective communication, reassurance and relevant behavioural techniques
  • Create, update and store contemporaneous patient records
  • Make effective decisions regarding the care of patients in line with the orthodontist’s treatment plan and in partnership with the patient and their parent/guardian
  • Put patients’ interests first and act to protect them
  • Respect patients’ dignity and choices obtaining and documenting valid consent for all treatments and personal care delivery
  • Take impressions or scans of patient’s teeth as prescribed by the referring practitioner
  • Use impressions or scans of the teeth to produce study models
  • Select and use the correct orthodontic equipment, instruments and materials to ensure appropriate and safe orthodontic care of the patient
  • Clean and prepare tooth surfaces ready for orthodontic treatment
  • Undertake a basic orthodontic assessment of a patient’s mouth
  • Fit the brackets and wires which make up braces in accordance with the prescription
  • Fit, adjust, remove or repair a range of orthodontic appliances that the patient may wear as prescribed by the orthodontist. In the absence of a prescription, be able to make safe removable and fixed appliance components
  • Make the appliance safe and ensure continuing care is provided as soon as possible
  • Insert, ligate, remove, trim or repair archwires from appliances under prescription
  • Remove the brackets and wires which make up appliances and the cement from the tooth surface that has held the bracket to the tooth safely and as prescribed, without causing damage to the tooth surface
  • Contribute to relevant tests and diagnostic procedures
  • Apply evidence-based oral health advice including toothbrushing, interdental cleaning, care of braces and removable orthodontic appliances, diet and hydration advice
  • Encourage and support self-care and motivation providing appropriate advice
  • Recognise and manage patients with acute oral conditions and know the referral process
  • Identify where patients’ needs may differ from the treatment plan or prescription and direct patients for advice where appropriate
  • Work with colleagues in a way that is in the patients’ best interests
  • Recognise and manage medical emergencies
  • Take part in appraisal and ongoing review
  • Co-operate with members of the wider dental or healthcare team, taking responsibility for establishing personal networks
  • Reflect on own practice, recognising how reflection can be used to continually improve the quality of patient care and professional development

Full information on Orthodontic therapist (integrated) (level 4) is available from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

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Regulated occupation

Orthodontic therapist (integrated) (level 4) needs a training provider who is approved by General Dental Council (GDC).

Apprenticeship location

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