What Does An Orthodontist Do?

The terms orthodontist and dentist are often interchangeably discussed by many people. Well, it’s not right at all. Although there are some common grounds between orthodontics and dentistry, both of the fields are not the same. A dentist is usually expert in ensuring dental health in general. On the other hand, an orthodontist specializes in certain areas of dentistry. Simply put, all orthodontists are the dentists but all dentists are not the orthodontists.

An orthodontist basically works on jaw, mouth, teeth, gums and nerves. Their priority is to straighten the misaligned teeth. Hence, an orthodontist usually treats overbites, under bites, open bites and cross bites.

Things that orthodontists do
When a dentist refers you to the orthodontist, it means that you have a problem with the teeth alignment and that it needs to be treated. It’s not the matter to be worried about. The most common method of straightening the teeth is application of braces but there are other methods too that can be used.

The hard part of orthodontics is to identify the problem in order to find the right solution. For instance, if there is a gap between your teeth, it may increase over time. The teeth suffer in this situation because dental structure needs to be tightly aligned in order to stay healthy. On the other hand, if there are too many teeth, it is also not something ideal. The orthodontist may have to extract the tooth or teeth in order to create required spacing.

Among many other tools used to straighten the teeth, braces are the most traditional ones. Braces usually consist of metal braces which are attached to the fronts of the teeth. These brackets are then connected with the metal wires. Straightening is performed by changing the position of these wires.

If braces are not the ideal way to go, the orthodontist may recommend the use of aligners. Aligners are relatively newer in the orthodontics. For example, you may have heard about the invisalign. Invisalign are the invisible plastic teeth aligners which are disposable. You would have to go to your orthodontist after every two weeks to get a new set of invisalign.

There are some extreme cases in which both the braces and aligners do not work. In those situations, the patient may be treated with palate expander. This treatment option focuses on creating space in the upper jaw. Another option is the headgear. This device basically connects the wire attached to the front of teeth with the back of the head. This option is considered when upper jaw grows too fast, and this growth needs to be slowed down.

Training required for orthodontists
Regular dental training is the first requirement that an orthodontist needs at first place. This training is usually included in four-year graduation program. The regular dentists start practicing dentistry after this stage but it’s not over for the orthodontists. There is an additional training required to learn orthodontics after graduation. This training may take 2 – 3 years.