5 Best Orthodontic Assistant Interview Questions

Orthodontic assistant interview questions

The role of the orthodontist’s assistant is just as crucial in the exam room as the orthodontist’s role.

If you plan on interviewing for an orthodontic assistant job, you should be aware of the common orthodontic assistant interview questions.

These may include questions about orthodontic consultations, your motivations, and appointment prep.

Because the orthodontist’s assistant is responsible for conversing with patients, preparing rooms, cleaning tools, and adjusting orthodontic equipment, it’s a very hands-on role.

Thus, employers ask specific questions to determine how well-suited you are to the job, your goals, and how your knowledge and expertise will make you the best candidate.

Today, to help you prepare for your orthodontic assistant interview, we’ve compiled a list of the most common orthodontic assistant interview questions you may face.

Remember to answer these questions by noting your personal experiences, professional anecdotes, and unique skills

Keep reading along as we reveal these five questions and why they might be asked.

We will even share some example answers to give you an idea of which direction you might take your answers.

Also, we recommend you watch this excellent video about the orthodontic assistant’s interview process.

Video made by: Rachael Zushin

Orthodontic Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

You could be asked the standard questions regarding your:

  • strengths,
  • weaknesses,
  • education,
  • and job experience.

However, some more orthodontic-focused questions are worth familiarizing yourself with before your interview.

Check out these five orthodontic assistant interview questions.

1. What questions should you ask an orthodontist during a consultation?

The orthodontic assistant communicates with the orthodontist regarding the patient’s concerns, needs, records, and status.

So when you’re asked this question in an interview, the employer wants to see how you would cover all the bases in real time.

The questions you anticipate patients asking are topics that you should cover regardless.

Your answer also reveals a lot about your expertise in the field.

Example answer:

When a potential orthodontic patient comes in for a consultation, I would expect them to ask about the time, cost, risks, and explanation of treatment.

They may also ask about insurance coverage, post-treatment, and our practice’s experience.

If the patient didn’t ask these questions, I would bring them up.

2. Why have you chosen a career in orthodontics?

Orthodontics requires a few extra years of education/training than regular dentistry does.

This specialty medical field is a bit more advanced, so you should have other motivations for pursuing it besides the paycheck.

When the employer asks this interview question, they want to know that you have a real passion for the job and skills that will improve patient care.

They may also want to know that you are committed to the field long-term.

Example answer:

I chose to pursue orthodontics instead of non-specialized dentistry due to the field’s impact on patients.

I am specifically interested in orthodontics as it relates to reducing patient pain, a topic I also researched during graduate school.

See also: Why Do You Want to Be a Dental Assistant

3. What steps do you take before each patient appointment?

As an orthodontic dental assistant, you have a lot of job duties related to appointment prep.

These may include sterilizing exam rooms, orthodontic tools, prepping equipment like x-ray machines, reviewing patient records, and more.

See also: Dental Sterilization Technician Interview Questions

The interviewer asks this question to gauge how good you are at prep, which can make appointments more efficient for the orthodontist.

It can also show how well you value time in the office.

Example answer:

Before each patient appointment, I make my rounds cleaning all equipment and preparing any machinery that may be used during the appointment.

I also take a moment to review the patient’s records and ask them about their history to inform the orthodontist better.

I may also take notes regarding patient questions to the orthodontist during the appointment.

See also: Why Do You Want to Be a Sterile Processing Tech

4. How do you help patients who struggle to maintain their treatments?

Some patients – especially children – will struggle to brush their teeth as often as they should, turn their expanders as often as they should, and avoid certain foods.

As an orthodontist’s assistant, your time spent with the patient is a vital opportunity to teach them about home care.

Employers ask this question to see that you are a good communicator who can help patients meet their treatment goals effectively.

Example answer:

I take time during appointment prep to thoroughly discuss patient concerns.

If they aren’t asking, I prompt them with questions and talk about how their oral care at home can help us in the office.

I also like to use incentives for children to make it easier for them to maintain their treatments.

5. What are your biggest strengths as an orthodontist’s assistant?

Here is your opportunity to discuss your professional strengths as they specifically relate to orthodontics.

See also: What Are Your Strengths Nursing Interview

Don’t just talk about how you’re good with time management. Talk about a specific time when you managed time well under pressure.

Don’t just talk about how you’re a good listener. Please mention that you worked with the scared patient and took time with them to make them more comfortable.

Example answer:

I pride myself on being a great communicator when working with children.

See also: Pediatric Dental Assistant Interview Questions

Several young patients would get nervous at my previous job before an appointment.

I would explain the procedures and treatments in terms that they could understand and even tell them about how I had done it myself as a kid.

This seemed to lessen their nerves and prepare them for their worst fears.

How to Prepare for Orthodontic Interview Questions?

Before your orthodontic interview questions, you might try the following:

  • Rehearsing questions and answers with a friend or colleague.
  • Writing out several different answers to the same question.
  • Considering questions you might ask the interviewer if given a chance.
  • Taking some time to remember experiences from your time in school.

Conclusion: Interview Questions for Orthodontic Assistants

Orthodontic assistant interview questions may relate to your professional strengths, ability to prepare for appointments, and consultation skills.

Be sure to refer to our commonly asked questions to prepare for your interview in advance.

Good luck with your upcoming orthodontic interview!

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