What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist who focuses entirely on diagnosis, prevention, and treatment related to teeth and jaws that are malaligned or malpositioned. An orthodontist has received 2 to 3 years additional advanced training beyond 4 to 5 years of dental school.
Some of the conditions orthodontists treat are:
- Protruded, overcrowded, crooked teeth which can be unaesthetic and hard to clean and maintain
- Excessive overbite or overjet which can cause an aesthetic concern, and in severe instances, wear of teeth and dysfunction
- Spaces between teeth which are often an aesthetic concern and cause for food lodgment
- Impacted teeth (teeth stuck in the jaw bone of soft tissue) that may cause damage to adjacent teeth or bone
- Bite that is not right, causing other problems like excessive wear of teeth and dysfunction
What is a board-certified orthodontist?
Only 1 in 3 orthodontists in the country are board certified. The process includes a voluntary exam that an orthodontist takes as a commitment to the standards of specialty practice, lifelong quality patient care, and learning.
To be board certified, the American Board of Orthodontics requires an orthodontist to complete a peer-developed, externally validated written and clinical examination. A board-certified orthodontist reaches a level of achievement by pursuing voluntary education and ongoing self-assessment.
How is an orthodontist different from a general dentist?
Simply stated, all orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists.
Only an orthodontist has received 2 to 3 years of additional advanced training beyond dental school, by enrolling in a full-time residency at an ADA-accredited program that focuses solely on orthodontics.
While some courses address orthodontics in dental school, the coverage is minimal. In an orthodontic postgraduate program, dental graduates dedicate 2 to 3 years to intensive full-time training and learn methods of proper and safe tooth movements (orthodontics) and guidance or growth and development (dentofacial orthopedics).
Why choose an Orthodontist?
Get treatment by a specialist because you deserve the best level of care. Family doctors will recommend you see a cardiologist for your heart, a dermatologist for your skin, and an orthopedist for your bones. Like these specialists, orthodontists devote their life to focus on diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of their specialty, the teeth and jaws.
Accurate diagnosis will lead to the best treatment outcome. You may notice crowding or spacing in your front teeth. An orthodontist will use his or her education and experience to do a comprehensive evaluation and take into consideration all the elements of the problem, so the doctor can discuss the best optimized options with you.
For lasting stable treatment outcome. “A Smile Lasts Forever” ... an accurate and comprehensive evaluation serves the path to correct diagnosis and best long-term outcome. To be able to achieve that, an orthodontist uses all his or her expertise and experience. Technique and treatment plan selection is extremely critical for safe treatment and long-term stability. Only an orthodontist will discuss with you all the options and guide you to select the one that will provide the best possible outcome in the long run.