What Does an Orthodontist Do in Dentistry?

An orthodontist is a dentist who is specially trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat tooth and jaw irregularities. They are experts in correcting existing conditions and can identify potential problems that may arise in the future. Orthodontists work with people of all ages, from children to adults. Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry. The term orthodontics is derived from two Greek words: orthos, which means straight or correct, and dontic, which means teeth.

Therefore, orthodontics is the practice of straightening misaligned teeth or malocclusions. Dentists who specialize in orthodontics can help control the abnormal position of the teeth, jaws, and face. Orthodontists are dental specialists who have undergone additional training to become experts in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They offer a wide range of treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, correct bad bites, and align the jaws correctly. To become an orthodontist, a person must take additional classes beyond what is required for a dental degree.

Most dental schools require two or three years of additional training before a student qualifies as an orthodontist. Orthodontists and dentists share many similarities: they both work together to help improve overall oral health. However, they work in very different ways. While orthodontists are primarily known for straightening teeth, they can also help with painful misaligned bites, tooth movements caused by bad habits such as thumb sucking, and even some forms of sleep apnea. Tests will inform your orthodontist about how to proceed with your treatment and what orthodontic interventions are best for you. A typical treatment for poorly positioned teeth (malocclusion) lasts one to two years.

During this time, specialists called orthodontists adjust braces every four to ten weeks. To obtain a license to practice as an orthodontist, a person must take more classes than what is required for a dental degree. Most dental schools require two or three years of additional training before a student qualifies as an orthodontist. If your dentist thinks you can be treated with Invisalign, you may not need to see an orthodontist at all. However, it's best to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist before deciding on the treatment option you want as each case is different and may require a particular orthodontic care option.

Using their knowledge and experience with facial irregularities and tooth movements, an orthodontist can help you understand which of the available treatment options will be best for you or your child. While you may have to wear braces, an aligner, or a metal helmet for a while, your orthodontist takes your interests into account and will work to provide you with the best possible smile. You'll first need to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist to assess the health of your teeth and gums and discuss your possible treatment options.

María Victoria
María Victoria

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