The terms dentist and orthodontist are often used interchangeably but that’s not right. Although, the two professions have certain similarities orthodontia is a specific type of dental care and orthodontists need to be contacted only for specific types of dental problems. Chances are that you might never need to visit an orthodontist.
Here are the basics that you need to know about orthodontists.
Who is an orthodontist?
The areas of focus for or any other place consist of the mouth, jaw, teeth, gums, and nerves. Orthodontists work in a more specialized section of the field as their concern is to straighten teeth. So, to put it simply all orthodontists are dentists, but few dentists are orthodontists. An orthodontist diagnoses overbites, occlusions, misaligned teeth and jaws, and overcrowded mouths. If issues are discovered, they try to solve them. overbites, underbites, open bites, and crossbites, if left untreated, can all cause long-term issues. An orthodontist helps to repair these conditions.
As mentioned above, the most important job of an orthodontist is to identify issues with the teeth and the mouth. Gap overbites, underbites, open bites, and crossbites between the teeth known as diastema become wider over time and the teeth will suffer as the structure of the mouth and the gums need a tight alignment. The orthodontist will try to pull the teeth closer together to correct the issue. If you have got excess teeth, they will most likely be pulled out to create uniformity in the spacing of teeth.
One of the most famous tools of an orthodontist to solve alignment problems is braces. Braces are bands that encircle the teeth and help make the teeth upright over a period.
If braces weren’t the best option, an aligner would be used. Unlike braces, aligners are not visible from a distance because they don’t use metal wires and patients like them because they’re removable.
In extreme cases, an orthodontist may treat patients with a palate expander. The arch of the upper jaw is widened by it which gives the area more space. Another way is to have headgear which connects the back of the head to a wire in the front of the mouth.
How much education does an orthodontist need?
An orthodontist must complete regular dental training which takes four years of classes to graduate. Most dentists stop at this point and begin practicing their trade, but orthodontists need more training than that and must spend two to three more years in training.
Visiting an orthodontist
Usually, your first visit will be to a dentist in case of teeth problems and depending upon the course of action, you might or might not be referred to an orthodontist. If you do visit an orthodontist, make sure that you are visiting a skilled professional. Irrespective of whether you wear braces or an aligner or a headgear, a good orthodontist will have your best interests in mind and will work towards restoring your smile as soon as possible.