An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of crooked or misaligned teeth. Contrary to popular belief, this branch of dentistry is not merely about the cosmetic appearance of patient smiles, but also about their oral health. Patients who visit an orthodontist for treatment often find it easier to brush their teeth and floss. This significantly reduces the risk of developing tooth decay or periodontal disease. Some of the conditions orthodontists treat include:
Did you know…
that orthodontists are dentists who have spent an additional 2 or 3 years in specialty training following dental school? Dentists perform a broad range of work, with occasional orthodontic treatments. Orthodontists, on the other hand, only see orthodontic patients. So even if your family dentist offers to straighten your teeth, keep in mind that only an orthodontist has the type of specialized training that ensures functional and aesthetic results.
You may need to visit an orthodontist if one or more of your teeth are improperly aligned, overly crowded, incorrectly fit for a good bite. Keep in mind that it is never too late to see an orthodontist – whether child or adult. Early treatments for children may start as early as age five, and continue on with a second phase treatment around age 12.
Your orthodontist will conduct an exam and use diagnostic imaging technology to determine the health of your tooth structure and whether orthodontic treatment is right for you. Orthodontic treatments usually involve the use of appliances like braces, space maintainers or jaw repositioning devices.
Orthodontic treatment have multiple benefits and are not limited to: allow growth of permanent teeth, guide growth of emerging teeth, avoid crowding of permanent teeth, correct bite and reduce or eliminate jaw pain, create functional arrangement of teeth, improve aesthetic purposes, boost self-esteem and confidence.
Depending on the results of your visit, you may be asked to return for additional exams or follow-up visits in the future.