Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting misaligned teeth, malocclusions, and other irregularities of the teeth and jaw. The term orthodontics is derived from two Greek words: orthos, meaning straight or correct, and dontic, meaning teeth. Orthodontists are dental specialists who are trained in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They offer a wide range of treatments to help straighten crooked teeth, correct bad bites, and align the jaws correctly.
In growing patients, there are more options for treating skeletal discrepancies. These include promoting or restricting growth through functional appliances, orthodontic headdresses, or a face mask with reverse traction. If you're concerned about the condition of your teeth, an orthodontic treatment plan can help you regain confidence in your smile and live a happier, healthier life. In Pakistan, to enroll as a student or resident in a postgraduate orthodontic course approved by the Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan, the dentist must graduate with a degree in dental surgery (BDS) or an equivalent degree.
Orthodontists and dentists will always work together to achieve optimal results for you and your children. Sometimes teeth are removed to facilitate orthodontic treatment (teeth are removed in about half of the cases, most commonly the premolars). Orthodontists work to align crooked teeth and correct bad bites by using specialized devices such as braces and headdresses. 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.
After completing a five-year degree in dentistry, an orthodontist undergoes another 5000 hours (or three years of full-time study) of specialized training in the field of orthodontics. As in Canada, there are several colleges and universities in the United States that offer orthodontic programs. A typical treatment for poorly positioned teeth (malocclusion) lasts one to two years, and specialists called orthodontists adjust braces every four to ten weeks. While a dentist may be trained to provide orthodontic care in addition to extractions, temporomandibular joint treatments and fillings, entrusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different procedures you need. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gums, nerves and the jaw while orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on correcting teeth bites, occlusion and straightness.
Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients align their teeth, improve their bite, or place them in appliances and corrective appliances.