What is orthodontics?
For many of our patients, when they think about orthodontics they immediately think of metal braces but there is a lot more to this profession. Orthodontics is in fact a specialist branch of dentistry which is concerned with correcting the alignment of a patient's teeth and jaws. This correction is done in conjunction with the evaluation and analysis of a patient's overall facial and bone structure.
What does an orthodontist do?
You go to your family dentist for regular check-ups (or you should anyway), so why do you need to see an orthodontist? Orthodontists and dentists play two very different, but equally important, roles in the care of your teeth.
An orthodontist started out as a dentist, so understands the fundamentals of this area of dentistry, but has since gone on to specialise in the field of orthodontics. This requires an additional two-to-three years of study. This now qualifies them to use orthodontic appliances to move your teeth and jaw into alignment.
Types of orthodontic problems
How do you know if you need to see an orthodontist? If you suffer from any of the following issues, you could certainly benefit from orthodontic treatment:
This problem occurs when teeth are fighting for space in your mouth.
The opposite to crowding, this problem occurs when there are big gaps between your teeth.
If your top teeth sit out past your bottom teeth too far, this is the result of incorrect alignment of your jaw, known as an overbite.
The opposite of an overbite, this problem occurs when your lower teeth jut out from your top teeth.
If you are unable to get your teeth to meet when you bite down on your back molars, this is known as an open bite and is another result of a misaligned jaw.