Do you know the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? Both work hard to keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but we orthodontists have additional training so we can treat tooth and jaw misalignment. We also participate in a two- to three-year residency, finishing with over 4,800 hours of orthodontic training under our belt!
Not only do we orthodontists complete the same coursework and training that your dentist does by earning a bachelor’s degree, but we also graduate from a four-year accredited dental school program to earn our orthodontic certification. During this time we go through an orthodontic residency program that takes two to three years, teaching us the skills we need to practice orthodontics with all the qualifications needed to pass. In the end, your awesome dentist finishes eight years of higher education while we end up with 10-11 years of school when we’re finished!
So what does this mean for you? Whether you are tired of seeing crooked teeth when you look in the mirror, or your dentist refers you to us after diagnosing you with a misaligned bite, our orthodontic team has the qualifications you need to help you. Like your dentist, we take your oral health seriouslyand look forward to helping you achieve your healthiest, aligned smile that will also help you look and feel your best when you look into the mirror!
What We Can Do for You
As orthodontists, our goal is to help you correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws. While a more appealing smile results from straighter teeth, we actually focus on your jawbone health, along with aligning your teeth and correcting abnormalities in your mouth and face. Our day-to-day duties center on procedures and treatments that fix your occlusion, misalignment and tooth abnormalities. For example, having crowded teeth or a bite that is off, such as an underbite or overbite along with crooked teeth are all issues with your alignment. When you come to our orthodontic practice for treatment, we might perform any of the following:
- Evaluate your smile to spot abnormalities in your mouth, jaw and face
- Take X-rays and molds to assess your teeth alignment
- Place orthodontic braces or another orthodontic device (aligners, retainers, etc.)
- Straighten teeth with the help of orthodontic surgery
- Supervise your child’s tooth growth and alignment
Of course, while helping your smile look better than ever is part of our specialty, crooked, or misaligned teeth should be treated for non-aesthetic reasons, because problems with your mouth can leave you with lockjaw, speech impediments, headaches, etc. So solving these problems can improve your overall quality of life! So how do you know whether you should see a dentist or an orthodontist for your oral health concerns? Here are some signs to help you decide:
When Should You See an Orthodontist?
- Your teeth are crowded from insufficient space in the jaws or the size of your teeth
- You struggle with teeth that are either misaligned, overgrown, or crooked
- You have an overbite, underbite, crossbite or openbite
- Your teeth need to be straightened
- You feel discomfort or pain in the mouth or jaw (TMJ) requiring a retainer, etc.
- You struggle when chewing or trying to speak
- Your palate needs to be expanded
Whatever you do, don’t put off recommended orthodontic care. Don’t like braces? No problem! Clear aligners can often fix the issue so you feel less conspicuous. Your oral health is as important as your overall health, and regular visits with your dentist and our orthodontist can help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come! You deserve high-quality orthodontic care. Please call us to learn more or address your concerns!