Alginate impressions are old technology now, everyone moving to 3d intraoral scanners. Having said that, they are kind of fun unless you get a gagger. Most patients requesting clear aligners rather than train-track braces in private. (Yes, including teenagers).
I would think the most useful courses would be clinical photography and radiography. I haven't seen any CPD course for taking scans. The manufacturer will train you when your practice buys a new piece of kit.
I was much like yourself I trained as general dental nurse and had brace treatment myself after I had qualified I become completely obsessed with tooth movement and how much of a difference braces can make. I eventually got the opportunity to work with a couple of orthodontist about a year and a half ago and have not looked back since. I now work in full time orthodontics and am looking at applying for an orthodontic nursing course.
It is different working in orthodontics my main thing I would say is it is cleaner so no extractions or blood (not that that ever bothered me I loved it) however once you get to grips with the instruments and procedures carried out in orthodontics it is as easy as general nursing. Although there are parts of general dental nursing that I miss I love working in orthodontics it fascinates me every time we remove braces and see before and after photos.
You can work in an orthodontic practice like I am currently doing as a general dental nurse with no post quals and then you can progress from there a handy post qual to have is impression taking or radiology and having these with give you the post quals for applying for the orthodontic therapist course in the future.
I hope this gives you abit of answer to your questions!
Just wondering whether there are any Ortho nurses on this site?! I've just begun my NEBDN course and started working as a trainee in general dentistry. I've decided on a massive career change after having orthodontic work last year and becoming super obsessed with teeth and orthodontics! Obviously you have to train in general dentistry before progressing onto orthodontics which is where I ultimately want to end up (my goal is to become an orthodontic therapist one day).
My questions are.. how different is the nursing in orthodontics to general dentistry? Do you enjoy it more? And what is the Orthodontic Dental Nursing qualification like in comparison to the dental nursing one? Did you do any other post qualifications such as radiography before applying for ortho nursing jobs?