Many people think of orthodontists as providing only traditional braces. However, orthodontics has come a long way in recent years and your orthodontist can treat problems with a wide variety of options. Braces can be made of many different materials optimized for strength, versatility or subtle appearance. Your treatment option may include standard braces on the outside of the teeth, clear ceramic braces that are more difficult to see, or lingual braces placed on the back of the teeth. Aligner trays are also used for orthodontic treatment. These are removable and needn’t stay in the mouth as permanently as braces.
Orthodontic treatments are not used solely to improve the appearance of the teeth, though this is usually the most noticeable change to onlookers. Having teeth that are properly aligned and a correct bite is very important. If your teeth are misaligned, you may not be able to clean them properly. When your floss and toothbrush can’t get the job done, your teeth will decay, develop cavities or even fall out. An incorrect bite can make it difficult to speak or eat. Over time, a bite that isn’t corrected will wear your teeth unevenly. Many such problems are also uncomfortable and even painful.
If you believe that you or your child may need orthodontic treatment, you should talk to your dentist or orthodontist right away. Treatment works best when it is performed on children and adolescents. The jaw and teeth are easier to reposition while the face is still growing and developing. Once a patient has reached adulthood, treatment may become more difficult. Different treatment options must be used and the time it will take for adjustment to be complete is usually much longer. This is not to say that adults cannot see a orthodontist however, as treatment options can always be explored.
There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate a need to see a orthodontist. With children, you should look for a very late or very early loss of baby teeth. Children who regularly suck their thumbs or keep other objects in the mouth on a regular basis are at greater risk for oral problems that will need to be treated with orthodontics. Difficulty speaking, chewing, biting and closing the mouth are other early signs of a problem that you should talk to a orthodontist about. Breathing through the mouth, though a more subtle sign may also indicate a problem.
Once all the teeth have come in, you will be able to see a more visible indication of whether orthodontic treatment is necessary. If the teeth appear crowded, out of place, or protrude from the mouth, this is a problem that may need to be corrected. If the child can bite into the roof of the mouth, frequently bites into the cheek or grinds and clenches his or her teeth, talk to a dentist or orthodontist immediately. Though treatment isn’t always possible until children lose their baby teeth, it’s important to talk to a orthodontist early so you can assess the situation and develop a plan of treatment.
Accessing the best dental care can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. There are many dentists around and each of them claims to be providing the best of services. There are also some other dental health practitioners called orthodontists. You probably think that everyone who deals with teeth is a dentist. Quite on the contrary, you probably do not need the services of a dentist but rather an orthodontist. Not everybody knows what orthodontists do anyway.
Generally, orthodontists and dentists have the same agenda as far as your health is concerned. This is to enhance your oral health. However, the ways that they do this are the difference. As you might know, dentistry is not a small field but one with a whole lot of branches within it. It is also worth mentioning that a dentist can also be an orthodontist but you need not be told that not all dentists are licensed as orthodontists as well.
The major comparison between a dentist and an orthodontist is that they both focus on your dental healthcare. An orthodontist may work in a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. In this case, they perform the same duties. In short, they are both doctors who deal with teeth and gums.
The world of differences
For starters, orthodontists spend a lot of more time in school as a dentist specialty. It is the same thing with surgeons as they go through some few more years in school. Orthodontists normally concentrate on helping patients with teeth alignment. They fix the bite and alignment of the teeth. This might be through the use of tools such as braces and Invisalign.
Dentists mainly promote good oral hygiene and provide services relating to tooth decay, root canals, gum disease, crowns, veneers, tooth whitening, and bridges. On the other hand, orthodontists are dentists who mostly focus on the alignment of teeth and give services such as fixing misaligned teeth, crowded teeth and overbite or underbite.
Which specialist to visit
Getting to know the differences between the two profession helps you save a lot of time when you are looking for a specific procedure to be done on your teeth. So if your teeth are to be aligned, you know you have to go to an orthodontist and if you just want a dental checkup, you go to a dentist who will be able to take care of your daily dental needs. Dentists are able to treat just about any kind of dental issue and that is why they are the more popular of the two. However, you might also benefit greatly from the specialized care provided by orthodontists.[Top]
Straight teeth are healthy teeth. They help you maintain a perfect smile and charm the world around easily. With such teeth, tour confidence level will always be up and your appearance will be improved. However, the story is entirely different when someone has crooked teeth or facing alignment concerns with their teeth. Such teeth not only ruin the beauty of smile, dilute the glow of appearance but also dull the facial charms. So, naturally, they will have a big impact on your quality of time together with carrying the risk of dental problems in future. They need immediately treatment to not harm your dental health any further.
More importantly, any misalignment between the teeth can cause jaw and temporomandibular joint pain. This is where you need to see the orthodontist and seek right treatment for your dental alignment problem. Earlier, such dentists almost always recommend metal braces to treat alignment issues in patients. Such braces are still popular but the use of metal wires and brackets do not make them endear to new-age teens and adults. Such braces are visible in nature so they will stand out in the mouth, which does not look aesthetically correct. For that reason, there is a need of a system which is not visible in the mouth.
Thankfully, invisible braces are a reality and they have become a good alternative to traditional metal braces. They will be free of wires and brackets; rather, plastic aligners are used to move the teeth into right alignment. They are quite a sophisticated system where the dentist will first take a 3D impressions of the mouth before preparing the aligner. They are created in a way to cover the teeth yet remain invisible. Similarly, these aligners are removable so they add quality to life and does not restrict eating and brushing in any manner. With them, you can enjoy life as its best.
Further, some people doubt the utility of plastics in aligners as they think metal will lend more strength and vigor to teeth. Well, they are wrong as hard plastic is used to put pressure on the teeth so that a right amount of force can be applied on the periodontal ligaments. This is when the ligaments get widened making the teeth loose and guiding them into proper alignment in a gradual manner. With such braces, it takes between 9 to 15 months to get the proper alignment but in some cases, it may also take two years for the result to show up.
Clearly, invisible aligners are a good option when it comes to getting proper alignment between your teeth and maintaining the aesthetics of the face and smile. Since they are not visible like metal, any feeling of awkwardness is completely out of the way. Plus, such braces are easy to brush or floss around, and they even do not prevent from enjoying foods of choice. You can thus consult a trained orthodontist and know in details braces and their utility for your teeth. This will help your alignment problems easily.[Top]
Why on earth would an adult want to wear braces? In the past, braces were worn by children and teenagers. But times have changed. Today, 1 in 5 patients of orthodontists in the US is an adult.
Adult dental braces are more popular than ever. That Huck Finn buck-toothed grin may be cute on a freckle-faced kid, but on an adult? No way! Or maybe you inherited the family heirloom-your grandfather's gap-toothed grin or your grandmother's lisp. Or perhaps you're experiencing the pain caused by a TMJ problem, or are having trouble chewing and swallowing properly.
There are many reasons for having your teeth straightened. And, since the process typically takes 1-2 years and can cost several thousand dollars, your choice of orthodontist should be an informed one. Many orthodontists offer free consultations. It's a good idea to shop around and check out at least 2 or 3 orthodontists before making a commitment. To make the decision easier, here are 5 facts to know before choosing an orthodontist.
1. The orthodontist you choose should practice high professional standards. Does he belong to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)? How long has he been practicing? Are his license and other credentials current? Does he continuously update his training?
1. You should decide what a successful outlet looks like. Do you want to close a gap, straightened crooked teeth, improve your bite or correct a speech disadvantage, such as lisping? What is it you want the braces treatment to accomplish?
2. Beside the traditional stainless steel "metal-mouth" braces, there are many other styles and techniques such as ceramic or plastic ones and the so-called "invisible" braces or even porcelain veneers. Does the orthodontist offer a variety of options and the latest trends in other teeth straightening techniques?
3. Ask about appointment times. You have commitments to your family, your employer and others. Does the orthodontist offer appointments on only one day a week? Or is he available on more days? Are available appointment times convenient for you? Inconvenient appointment times can lead to missed appointments-and a longer treatment time.
4. What happens after the braces come off? Will you have to wear a retainer? If so, for how long? Some orthodontists are not very strict about having their patients wear retainers after their teeth straightening treatment. Not wearing your retainer can cause the teeth to move back out of their new alignment. This is good news for the not-so-ethical orthodontist, because it could mean a repeat of the treatment. A conscientious orthodontist, however, will explain the importance of maintaining your new straight smile and insure that you follow his instructions as to whether to wear a retainer and when.
5. Sometimes teeth straightening and braces are not enough to correct a lisp or a swallowing problem. What then? A good orthodontist will follow up the orthodontic treatment with a referral to another professional, such a speech therapist. An orthodontist you can trust is one who is concerned that you receive the appropriate and necessary after-braces care.
Adult dental braces, and the right orthodontist, can correct a host of oral health issues. And choosing a highly trained professional is an important decision.
Do not settle for the first orthodontist you come across. Evaluating several potential orthodontists is the best way to make an informed decision. Keep in mind these 5 facts before choosing an orthodontist. The right professional for you will help you achieve a successful treatment income and maintain that gorgeous smile for a lifetime.[Top]