Average Orthodontists Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Orthodontist Salary in South Africa is R98,266 per month. An entry-level Orthodontist earns a salary range of R56,833, a Mid-career level earns about R101,000, and a senior/experienced level earns R135,000 per month.

Average Orthodontist Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Orthodontist 56,833
Mid-Career Orthodontist 101,000
Experienced Orthodontist 135,000

Types of Orthodontists and their Functions in South Africa

Orthodontics is a specialized field within dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. In South Africa, various types of orthodontists play crucial roles in addressing dental issues and improving patients’ oral health. Here’s an overview of the main types of orthodontists and their functions in the context of South Africa:

1. Orthodontic Specialists

Orthodontic specialists are highly trained professionals who specialize exclusively in orthodontic care. They diagnose and treat a wide range of dental issues, including misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, and overcrowded teeth.
They employ various treatment methods, such as traditional braces, clear aligners, and other orthodontic appliances, to correct dental misalignments.

2. Pediatric Orthodontists

Pediatric orthodontists focus on the unique dental needs of children and adolescents. They specialize in early intervention and preventive orthodontic treatments to ensure proper oral development.
These orthodontists often address issues like thumb-sucking, early tooth loss, and jaw irregularities in children, aiming to prevent more severe problems in adulthood.

3. Surgical Orthodontists

Surgical orthodontists, also known as orthognathic surgeons, specialize in cases that require a combination of orthodontic treatment and surgery. They address severe jaw misalignments and skeletal issues.
Surgical orthodontists often work closely with oral and maxillofacial surgeons to plan and execute surgical procedures that complement orthodontic treatment.

4. General Dentists with Orthodontic Training

Some general dentists in South Africa undergo additional training in orthodontics, allowing them to provide basic orthodontic services. While they may not handle complex cases, they can offer solutions for mild to moderate dental misalignments.
These dentists may provide services such as simple orthodontic consultations, minor tooth movements, and basic orthodontic appliance fittings.

5. Prosthodontic Orthodontists

Prosthodontic orthodontists specialize in the restoration and replacement of missing or damaged teeth. They may incorporate orthodontic principles into their treatment plans to achieve optimal results in tooth replacement.
Prosthodontic orthodontists often work in collaboration with orthodontic specialists to address both functional and aesthetic aspects of dental care.

In South Africa, the diverse range of orthodontic specialists reflects a commitment to providing comprehensive oral healthcare. Patients can benefit from a tailored approach to their unique dental needs, whether through traditional orthodontic methods or innovative techniques like clear aligners. Regular collaboration among different types of orthodontists ensures a holistic approach to dental care, contributing to improved oral health outcomes for individuals across the country.

Factors Affecting Orthodontist Salaries in South Africa

Orthodontists play a crucial role in the field of dentistry, specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws. In South Africa, the salaries of orthodontists are influenced by various factors that reflect the complex interplay of economic, educational, and professional elements.

1. Educational Background

The level of education and specialization significantly impacts an orthodontist’s earning potential. Those with advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or Doctorate in Orthodontics, often command higher salaries due to their specialized expertise.

2. Experience and Expertise

Orthodontists with extensive experience in the field tend to receive higher salaries. Years spent practising and developing expertise contribute to their value in the industry. Specialized skills, such as dealing with complex cases or using advanced orthodontic technologies, can also influence compensation.

3. Geographical Location

Salaries can vary significantly based on the region within South Africa. Urban areas with higher living costs and demand for orthodontic services may offer higher compensation compared to rural or less-populated regions.

4. Demand for Orthodontic Services

The overall demand for orthodontic services in a particular area affects salaries. High demand can lead to increased compensation as orthodontists become sought after by patients and dental practices.

5. Type of Employment

Orthodontists may work in various settings, including private practice, hospitals, or academic institutions. Those in private practice may have more control over their income through patient volume and fees, while those in academic or institutional roles may receive additional benefits or stability but may have a different salary structure.

6. Market Competition

The level of competition in the local market plays a role in determining salaries. In areas with fewer orthodontists, professionals may have more negotiating power, potentially resulting in higher compensation.

7. Economic Factors

The economic conditions of South Africa, such as inflation rates and the overall economic health, can impact salaries. Economic stability generally contributes to better compensation packages for orthodontists.

8. Professional Network and Reputation

Building a strong professional network and a positive reputation within the industry can open up opportunities for higher-paying positions or collaborations. Referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations can enhance an orthodontist’s standing in the community.

How to Become an Orthodontist in South Africa

To become an orthodontist in South Africa, individuals typically follow a structured educational and professional path. Here’s a detailed guide on how to pursue a career as an orthodontist in South Africa:

1. Educational Requirements

– Bachelor’s Degree:

Start by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as biology, chemistry, or a pre-dental program. Ensure that the chosen program includes prerequisite courses required for dental school.

– Dental Degree (BDS):

After completing the bachelor’s degree, pursue a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree at a recognized dental school in South Africa. This program generally takes around five years.

2. Internship and Community Service

– Internship:

Complete a compulsory year of internship at a dental hospital or clinic. This internship provides hands-on experience and exposure to various aspects of dentistry.

– Community Service:

After the internship, undertake a year of community service following South African health regulations. This service is a mandatory requirement for dental practitioners.

3. Postgraduate Training in Orthodontics

– Specialization (Master’s or Diploma):

To become an orthodontist, further specialization is required. Pursue a postgraduate qualification in orthodontics, which can be a Master’s degree or a Diploma in Orthodontics. This program typically takes three years.

4. Clinical Training

– Clinical Experience:

During the postgraduate training, gain extensive clinical experience in orthodontics. This involves working with patients under the supervision of experienced orthodontists.

5. Registration and Certification

– Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA):

Upon completing the required education and training, register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a dentist. This is a legal requirement for practising dentistry in the country.

– Orthodontic Board Certification (Optional):

While not mandatory, obtaining board certification from relevant professional organizations demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of orthodontic practice.

6. Continuous Professional Development

– Stay Updated:

Keep abreast of the latest advancements in orthodontics through continuous professional development. Attend conferences, workshops, and training programs to enhance skills and knowledge.

7. Establishing a Practice

– Private Practice or Joining a Clinic:

After completing all the necessary steps, orthodontists can either establish their private practice or join existing clinics and hospitals.

8. Maintaining Professional Standards

– Adherence to Ethical Standards:

Uphold ethical standards and maintain professionalism in patient care. Adhering to the code of ethics is crucial for a successful and respected orthodontic practice.

9. Networking and Collaboration

РCollaborate with Other Healthcare Professionals 

Foster collaborations with other healthcare professionals, including general dentists, oral surgeons, and other specialists. Networking can lead to referrals and a broader scope of patient care.



The average Orthodontist Salary in South Africa is R98,266. The salaries of orthodontists in South Africa are influenced by a combination of educational attainment, experience, location, demand for services, type of employment, market competition, economic conditions, and professional reputation.

Understanding these factors is essential for both aspiring orthodontists and those already established in the field, as it allows for informed career decisions and effective negotiation strategies.

Becoming an orthodontist in South Africa requires dedication, a solid educational foundation, and specialized training. By following these steps, individuals can embark on a rewarding career, helping patients achieve optimal oral health and beautiful smiles.