An orthodontist is a fully qualified dentist with specialized education in the alignment of jaws and straightening of teeth. But what does an orthodontist do? Why do you need an orthodontist? When should you need an orthodontist? How to choose an orthodontist? Find the answers to these 4 questions about orthodontics.
1.What does an orthodontist do?
Orthodontists improve your bite and smile by adjusting your jaws and teeth into a more proper alignment through the use of braces, aligners, retainers and special headgear.
2.Why do you need an orthodontist?
Many people are born with crowded or crooked teeth – an aesthetic concern that may soon develop into a health problem. Overlapping teeth may cause tooth decay, as they are difficult to clean, and sometimes chewing and speech problems.
3.When should you see an orthodontist?
It is recommended that you take your child for orthodontic checkup before they are seven years old even when their bite seems correct. Before seven years old, the jaws are still developing and correcting an underlying problem will prove easier, as well as with better results and less severe side effects.
Most adult patients are typically no more than 50 years old. However, thanks to technology and betterment of orthodontic appliances over time, orthodontists have been able to safely and successfully take people in their 60s and 70s through orthodontic procedures.
4.How to choose an orthodontist?
While general dentists are capable of diagnosing and treating simple orthodontic problems, there are more complicated issues that only specialist orthodontists can handle. That said, it is advisable that you look for an orthodontist regardless of the complexity of your case.
There are many ways of telling orthodontists and general dentists apart. One is by asking the doctor themselves before consultation commences. You may also look at how they advertise; general dentists are allowed to call themselves “specialist in orthodontics” or “orthodontic specialist” but a specialist orthodontist will be more free with the use of the title “orthodontist”. Membership in the orthodontist-only American Association of Orthodontists should also be proof that the doctor is a specialist.