We all know that dentists take care of our teeth the way doctors care for our overall health. There are many different doctors specialising in different systems of the body, and dentists are no different. There are various types of dentists who specialise in specific branches of dental medicine, and one of them is orthodontists. Here, we will answer the following questions:
- What is an orthodontist?
- What dental procedures do orthodontists perform?
- Why should we see an orthodontist?
What is an orthodontist?
Orthodontics is the dental specialty concerned in diagnosing and treating dental deformities and other irregularities concerning the upper and lower jaw. It is the dental specialisation that addresses teeth and jaw alignment. An orthodontist is a dental practitioner who practices orthodontics and is the one responsible for straightening our teeth and making our smiles brighter and more appealing. They are general dentists who studied and trained for an additional three years just to be certified as a specialist.
Orthodontists are part of the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and have their logo attached to their clinic advertisements or posters. To make sure that you are undergoing orthodontic procedures with the right specialist, search their names on AHPRA’s official website at www.ahpra.gov.au. An orthodontist is registered both as a general dentist and a specialist dentist.
What procedures do orthodontists perform?
In Australia, orthodontists focus on performing orthodontic procedures, namely application and treatment using dental braces, dental aligners (Invisalign or Clear Correct among others), and use of dental retainers. These specialists leave the general dentistry procedures in the hands of, well, general dentists. Procedures such as teeth cleaning, fillings, and other cosmetic dentistry are not handled by these dental experts.
Why should we see an orthodontist?
As a regular person experiencing a dental problem, what is an orthodontist for you and why should you seek their advice?
- Because they specialise in the dental problem that you have. If your dental issues focus on teeth misalignment, bite issues, or a medical problem that was related to your misaligned teeth (for example, sleep apnoea), an orthodontist is the best specialist to turn to. Their expertise with regard to that subject is the most reliable in the field of dentistry.
- Because your teeth alignment affects a lot of things. Your smile frames your teeth, so if you have crooked teeth, your dazzling smile also gets affected. Having bad teeth also affects your overall health; poor oral hygiene brought about by difficulty in cleaning the teeth can lead to certain diseases. Speech defects can also arise from misaligned teeth, and breathing difficulties can result from these as well. Only orthodontists can help you solve these issues using appropriate orthodontic procedures.
- Because having straightened teeth can boost your self-confidence. The way you present yourself to the world with that gorgeous smile is all it takes to captivate anyone’s attention. If your perfectly straightened teeth compliment that radiant smile (thanks to orthodontic treatments), you can achieve the right amount of confidence and enthusiasm in mingling with other people, so creating close and stable interpersonal relationships can become possible.