What is an Orthodontist?

Do you have crooked or improperly aligned teeth that are ruining your smile and facial aesthetics? Don’t worry, an orthodontist can fix your bite problems and give you a naturally beautiful and charming smile. 

But what is an orthodontist? You might ask. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who is involved with the correction of tooth misalignment, bite problems, and facial aesthetics. 

What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

Orthodontists are dentists who have undergone specialized training in treating problems related to the jaws, misaligned teeth, and facial deformities. According to the American Board of Orthodontics, only dentists who have undergone additional 3-4 years of specialized training after graduating from medical school call themselves as board-certified orthodontists or orthodontic specialists. Simply put, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. 

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontists can be called:

  1. Orthodontists
  2. Orthodontic specialists
  3. An orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedist

What Does an Orthodontist Do?

In addition to providing general dentistry services, orthodontists are more engaged in diagnosing and correcting dentofacial cosmetic and bite problems. Orthodontists rely on various advanced diagnostic and imaging equipment to diagnose underlying bite or jaw-related problems and prepare detailed plans for their correction. Orthodontic specialists utilize various treatment options, such as removable appliances, metal or ceramic braces, and Invisalign aligners to fix a variety of orthodontic issues. 

Do I need to See an Orthodontist?

Contrary to what many people think, orthodontic treatment is used to fix cosmetic issues, as well as, functional problems related to the movement of the jaw and the alignment of the teeth. You or your loved ones might have an aesthetically pleasing smile, but your teeth might not be aligned properly, creating difficulties for you while eating and speaking. 

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you should take your children to an orthodontist before they turn 7, so that any underlying issue can be diagnosed, and treated early. In some cases, the orthodontist may be able to fix underlying problems without the need for braces, provided the issue is detected at an early stage. 

Orthodontic treatment offers a permanent and aesthetically pleasing solution for all kinds of bite problems. If you feel that your smile needs improvement, then you can consult your orthodontist to discuss the possibility of getting your bite fixed with orthodontic treatment.