An orthodontist is a dental specialist that specializes in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite and fitting them for corrective braces and devices.
Orthodontic treatment is a crucial part of overall oral health care. More than 30% of the population has some type of malocclusion or misaligned bite that can benefit from orthodontics.
After completing dental school, orthodontists must gain specialized training to become board-certified in orthodontics. This is usually a two- to three-year process.
Before applying to dental school, most students have a bachelor’s degree and may need to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This test measures your reading comprehension, critical thinking and reasoning skills.
During dental school, you learn to care for a variety of patients with different needs. Many schools have rotations through several hospitals, health centers and clinics to give you experience working with different people and types of treatments.
Orthodontists also regularly attend continuing education classes to keep up with the latest treatments and techniques in their field. Keeping up with these educational activities ensures that orthodontists have the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to provide their patients with the best possible results.
Specialized training is a key component to a successful career as an orthodontist. Having years of additional training in how to move teeth and align jaws helps ensure your treatments are accurate and effective.
Specialty-trained dentists can offer a wider range of services than general dental practitioners. This can help improve treatment outcomes and keep your patients coming back for more complex procedures to maintain their dental health.
For example, an orthodontist has specialized knowledge about how to move teeth and adjust bites in order to create healthy smiles for patients of all ages. A general dentist can provide rudimentary orthodontic care, but it will be less thorough than the experience of an orthodontist.
If you’re interested in becoming an orthodontist, you should start preparing for your future by taking courses that emphasize math and science subjects. You should also take business classes that prepare you to own and run a practice. These classes will also help you develop your people skills, which are critical for an orthodontist’s job.
Orthodontists use a variety of diagnostic tools to examine your teeth, jaw and facial structure. They include a thorough medical history, plaster study models, photos of your face and teeth, panoramic and other X-rays, and a clinical examination.
They then analyze this data and identify any malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) or bite issues. The orthodontist uses this diagnosis to develop a personalized treatment plan for you.
Malocclusions can cause problems with eating, speech and maintaining proper oral hygiene. An orthodontist can treat these issues by bringing the teeth into alignment.
Malocclusions can be corrected in children as well as adults and usually require the use of braces to move the teeth into correct alignment. This can take from several months to a few years.
Orthodontic treatment is a type of dental work that corrects misalignments and problems with the bite. It improves the appearance and functionality of teeth, but it also can benefit a person’s health.
If a person’s teeth are misaligned or their bite is not right, it can lead to issues with chewing and digestion of food. This can result in a restricted diet and poor overall health.
Having straight teeth and proper jaw alignment can prevent many of these issues from developing. In addition, it can reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
When a person decides to receive orthodontic treatment, it is important to choose a dentist that offers a variety of options. This will ensure that they are comfortable with their treatment plan.
Orthodontic treatments are an excellent way to correct misalignments and issues with the bite. They can help a patient have a healthy and attractive smile, which can increase their self-confidence.