A lot of people tend to use the words "dentist" and "orthodontist" interchangeably. However, there is a strong distinction between the two. When you require an overbite correction or other teeth straightening options, you need to see the latter. The reason for this is that orthodontists specialize in correcting certain types of dental problems, and you definitely need to see one if the time arises.
How Do You Define Orthodontia?
The priority of orthodontists is to straighten teeth. Due to genetics or a litany of other factors, a person's adult teeth come in the wrong way. Orthodontists correct occlusions, overbites and misaligned teeth. Once discovering the issue, the professional will try to fix the issue using braces or other corrective devices.
When you look for a professional to help you with this, it is critical to remember that all orthodontists are also dentists. However, not all dentists are orthodontists. You want to make sure the professional you speak with has the right education and experience to assist you with your dental needs.
What Do Orthodontists Do?
Orthodontists must go through specialized training to correct misaligned teeth. Chances are good you will find out you have an issue during your normal dental appointment. A dentist may recommend you to an orthodontist, and from there, the professional will often suggest braces. However, the exact corrective measure may vary depending on your exact need.
In the event a problem with the teeth is not corrected, it will only get worse with time. For example, some people will develop a gap between their two front teeth. This is referred to as a diastema. If left uncorrected, it will grow larger over time.
When braces do not work, the orthodontist may suggest an alternative, such as Invisalign. This device is not nearly as visible as braces, and they can even be removed for a couple of hours every day. However, Invisalign will not work for everybody. It would be best if you speak with your orthodontist about which method will work best for you.
What Happens When You Visit an Orthodontist?
Your visit to an orthodontist will be similar to a dentist's appointment. You will need to go to the medical office until it is time for your exam. Your initial visit is a consultation appointment where you will meet the orthodontist and discuss your concerns about your teeth. The orthodontist will perform an exam and typically take pictures of your teeth as well as an x ray. Using these orthodontist records, the doctor will review your exams findings as well as the different treatment options available to you. Once you decide on a treatment plan, you will return to see the orthodontist every month or so to straighten your teeth.
How Much Additional Training Do Orthodontists Require?
To become an orthodontist, you have to go through the same process to become a dentist. Most dental schools usually require four years in order to graduate. Someone wanting to become a dentist can stop at this point, but orthodontists must go further. Orthodontists require an additional license to practice. For most dental schools, this will be an additional two or three years before someone can graduate as an orthodontist.
This comes in handy when you are getting something as precise as braces. You want to have the confidence that your orthodontist knows what he or she is doing. While a dentist can prescribe Invisalign, you want to go to an orthodontist to make sure you are getting the correct attention.
Which Orthodontist Should You Choose?
Make an appointment with Delaware Smile Center to get your smile corrected. Our orthodontists have helped numerous people around Delaware get the smiles they have always wanted, and you can be next. Call (302) 231-3051 today!