As cute as that bucked tooth smile may be, when you grow older it may impact your daily life. From crooked teeth to gaping smiles, orthodontics have always been the go-to specialists to outfit your mouth with braces, palatal expanders, or Invisalign. Not only are these specialists have the skill set of a dentist’s but they go above and beyond to making sure every patient has a lasting glowing smile. Now, you may be asking yourself, but what do they actually do besides tossing metal objects on your teeth. Luckily for you, we are going to discuss everything from what is an orthodontist to finding the perfect one for you.
What is the Orthodontist Definition?
To start off, let’s first go over what an orthodontist is by definition. Orthodontists are specialists who work on realigning teeth and jaws. Many of these misalignments are due to speech defects, poor oral hygiene, or ingrown teeth.
The most common orthodontist procedures include braces and retainers. Together, the two instruments for to realign teeth that may have improperly grown in. The two different types of braces include metal and Invisalign. As common as braces have been in the past decade, Invisalign is a more popular alternative to not having to show flashy metal brackets on your teeth. It is, however, also more expensive.
What Does an Orthodontist Do?
Orthodontists help people smile brighter. They treat people’s jaws, teeth, and gums t give a straighter smile and help strengthen oral hygiene. Most people benefit from orthodontists if they have crooked teeth or jaw misalignments. Luckily, an orthodontist can not only treat the condition up front but also install treatment plans to permanently fix it altogether. Other conditions that orthodontists can fix include but are not limited to crossbites, overbites, underbites, and spacing. Most of the time these dentists either need to install braces or palatal expanders to give room or shrink room for teeth to grow in a healthier fashion.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Orthodontists use fixed and removable appliances in their procedures. These devices help to move teeth into the proper position, retrain muscles, and guide the growth of jaws. Both types of appliances function by gently placing pressure on jaws and teeth. Which appliance is used will depend on the severity of the affliction and the orthodontist’s professional opinion.
Fixed appliances include:
- Fixed Space Maintainers
- Special Fixed Appliances
Removable appliances include:
- Palatal Expanders
- Space Maintainers
- Splints, also known as jaw repositioning appliances
- Cheek and Lip Bumpers
What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?
To most people, an orthodontist may just seem like a fancy term for a dentist, but this could not be further from the truth. Yes, both help to improve the oral health of their patients, but they do so in different ways.
A dentist is a general oral care provider that works with teeth, gums, nerves, and jaws. They encourage patients to practice good oral hygiene. Dentists provide services that help to combat tooth decay and gum disease. They can also perform routine teeth whitening, root canals, and install crowns, bridges, and veneers. It is important to point out that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.
An orthodontist by definition is a specialist in the field of dentistry. They focus on correcting the straightness of teeth, bites, and occlusion. If you need medical help with any of these things, your regular dentist will usually refer you to see an orthodontist. To become an orthodontist, a personal must attend four years of dental school and then an additional two or three years of orthodontist schooling.
5 Tips for Finding the Best Orthodontist
1. Ask your family and friends for orthodontist recommendations.
2. See what orthodontist offices are covered by your health insurance, if any.
3. Thoroughly research all of your options. Check out their website and any online reviews.
4. Make sure that the orthodontist is board certified. Use the American Board of Orthodontics’ Board Certified Orthodontist Locator to search their name.
5. Set up a consultation. Make sure to ask the right questions so that you can make an informed decision.
Questions to Ask During Your Orthodontist Consultation
Here are some questions you may want to consider asking a potential orthodontist at a consultation:
- How long have you been practicing?
- How many orthodontists work here?
- What are your hours of operation? Do you offer late night or weekend hours for people who have busy work schedules?
- Can you provide me with any references from past clients?
- Where did you go to school?
- Is this office certified by The American Board of Orthodontics?
10 Treatment Specific Questions:
- What is the scope of the treatment plan?
- What needs to be done?
- Do I have different treatment options?
- If I do not do this treatment now, will there be serious consequences?
- How frequently do I need to visit?
- How long will the whole treatment take?
- What insurance do you accept?
- How much will this cost and how is the cost determined?
- Are there any additional fees?
- Is there any follow-up care I should know about?
The orthodontist definition is another meaning of dentistry that works on jaws and teeth. An average of 70% of Americans have had work done on their teeth by orthodontists. Whether you need braces to realign your smile or need your palate expanded to make room for teeth, now you know how experienced and professional this branch is. If this article helped your understanding or have more information willing to share about orthodontics, feel free to share below.