What Orthodontists Can Do For You

Orthodontists are dental specialists who are trained in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They provide a wide range of treatments to straighten crooked teeth, correct bad bites, and align the jaws correctly. Certified orthodontists are knowledgeable in diagnosing and treating oral health conditions of the teeth, gums, and mouth. Above all, they focus on making sure that the teeth and jaw are placed correctly. An orthodontist is a type of dentist with extra training to fix misaligned teeth, bite problems, and jaw irregularities.

In other words, those who practice this profession, such as our Grand Rapids orthodontists, are responsible for helping children, teens, and adults achieve their best smile. When people think of orthodontics or an orthodontist, they often imagine orthodontic appliances. However, orthodontists offer services that go beyond orthodontic appliances; they specialize in aligning teeth or repositioning the jaws. Orthodontists have many treatment options and services to address common problems. Michael Payne of American River Orthodontics near Granite Bay, CA is here to explain the services that orthodontists provide.

Orthodontic appliances are their main specialty; these consist of brackets, wires, and bands that are tightened over a period of time to straighten teeth. Many patients near Granite Bay, CA use braces to align their smiles and create picture-perfect teeth. They can also be used to solve overbites, underbites, crowds or gaps in the teeth. Michael Payne says that most orthodontic appliances are made of metal with fun colored elastics on the braces for children. However, they also come in ceramic and transparent colors for those who don't want their orthodontic appliances to be very noticeable.

Aligners are another option; these help straighten teeth and align them. They are used to correct underbites, overbites, open bites, cross bites or agglomerations. Aligners usually come in the form of Invisalign near Granite Bay, CA; they are transparent trays that fit around the teeth to shape them and achieve a perfect smile. Michael Payne suggests using a retainer to keep your teeth from returning to their original position. These retainers come in the form of a plate that is placed on the roof of the mouth with a metal rod that crosses the upper front teeth or in the form of a plastic aligner.

Most of the time these aligners are worn overnight. The orthodontist's job is to identify problems, offer advice, and help maintain your orthodontic appliances if needed. Orthodontists pursue a pre-dental or pre-medical specialization in their undergraduate degree before entering dental school. After finishing dental school and taking the certification exam, they attend an orthodontic residency program for an additional two or three years to obtain a specialty certification in orthodontics. If you already have orthodontic appliances such as braces or retainers you may need to see an orthodontist first to have them repaired or readjusted. Orthodontists receive additional training which enables them to install braces and diagnose a misaligned jaw.

Before recommending any type of procedure or surgery you will usually have a consultation to examine your problems and discuss your options. Dentists and orthodontists are two types of doctors who have extensive practice diagnosing and treating oral health conditions; however, orthodontists specialize even more in aligning the teeth and jaw before working in an office.

María Victoria
María Victoria

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