Orthodontics: Choosing Your Doctor

Orthodontics: Choosing Your Doctor

Dec 01, 2019

What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty n dentistry that deals with correcting the positioning of teeth. It addresses how teeth sit on the jawbone, and how they affect the function and cosmetic appearance of teeth. Orthodontics falls under both restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Technically, when teeth are malpositioned, they introduce other dental challenges such as improper bites, accidental biting of the cheeks, plaque buildup, to mention a few. Further, such teeth can deprive patients of living a quality life, following low self-confidence.

What Problems Does Orthodontic Treatment Correct?

Orthodontic treatment makes use of different oral appliances to affect change in the smile of a patient. Some of the appliances include traditional braces, Invisalign® clear braces, retainers, mouthguards, to mentions a few. The kind of appliance used depends on the preferences of the patients and the underlying dental conditions. There is a myriad of dental problems that can be corrected in orthodontics. Some of them include:

  • Crooked teeth – sometimes teeth do not grow in a straight line following the arc of the mouth.
  • Crowded mouth – this happens when teeth are too big to fit into the jaw of a patient.
  • Gaps between teeth – sometimes the jaw is very spacious so that teeth leave large spaces between them.
  • Improper bites – this can be an underbite or an overbite, where the upper and lower jaw do not close properly.

Orthodontist or General Dentist?

When you get to a dental facility with your oral concern, it is normal to wonder who provides the orthodontic treatment you need. Technically, both a dentist and an orthodontist can offer orthodontic treatment. However, an orthodontist has specialized in offering treatment to patients with misaligned teeth, which is why the term ‘Orthodontist” can only be used on a registered orthodontic specialist. They have spent extra hours in class, training on the different dental appliances and bone structures of teeth. For this reason, they are more qualified to offer orthodontic treatment than any other medical practitioner in dentistry.

However, it is not to say that a general dentist is completely helpless in such a situation. What happens is that a dentist might take care of the mild cases of misaligned teeth, but an orthodontist handles the more complex situations. Besides, once you seek orthodontic treatment in Dallas TX, the dentist in charge will tell you what kind of treatment you need.

Why You Need an Orthodontist

Much as a general dentist can offer you orthodontic treatment, you may need an orthodontist, and here is why:

  • The art of specialization – orthodontists take extra classes to study teeth and bone structures in readiness for orthodontic treatments. They are qualified to offer expertise on irregularities of the face and jaw more than general dentists are. The three years of specialist training in this area has got to count for something.
  • Consultation advantage – for complex orthodontic problems, general dentists may not have the consultation advantage. An orthodontist can consult others in his/her workforce to pool their expertise and knowledge in handling complicated cases.
  • Unique considerations – based on the vast knowledge in this area, orthodontists are better placed at addressing unique considerations. Different patients respond distinctively to treatment alternatives. There is no absolute orthodontic treatment for ‘one-fits-all’.
  • Vast experience – every day, an orthodontist handles different cases of malpositioned teeth. When it comes to handling teeth aligners like braces, experience beats knowledge. The way to position and adjust them can impact the kind of results a patient gets. This is not the same for general dentists. They handle a few cases of teeth aligners, which means their experience is not as high as that of an orthodontist.

Do They Work Together?

A dentist and an orthodontist work together to achieve the best results in patients’ smiles. Much as an orthodontist is best placed in handling malpositioned teeth, you cannot overlook the role of a general dentist in keeping the overall dental health of a patient in check. Some dentists can even comfortably take care of patients with adult six-month braces and keep track of the changes thereof. However, it is best to consult an orthodontist for your teeth alignment instead of a general dentist.