By Dr. Leighton Wood, DDS, MS, PC
While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what our practice does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontics.
Misconceptions about Orthodontics
Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that we’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, we are actually very different. While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, we go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you probably won’t make an appointment to see us. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. Actually for any sort of restorative procedure, including crowns, bridges or veneers, a dentist is the correct professional to see. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.
How is an Orthodontist Different?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), an orthodontist is a dentist who has completed an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited graduate program in the specialty of orthodontics; orthodontists receive an additional two-three years of specialized education beyond dental school. A dentist who graduates from a specialty program becomes an orthodontic specialist who is eligible to become board certified through an examination process by The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO).
People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device like Invisalign. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. Correcting misaligned teeth not only results in the important aesthetic benefit of a beautiful smile, but as importantly allows your teeth and gums to remain healthy as your bite is properly balanced and you can more easily care for your smile. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may grow in crooked or have gaps between teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced and more easily treat those. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once most of the adult teeth have fully grown in.
Treating All Ages
Another common misconception about orthodontists is that we only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teen-agers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.
If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what your orthodontist can do for you, we invite you to simply ask us. You can contact us at our Beaverton, Oregon or Molalla, Oregon offices for a free consultation. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our practice.
Original Article: http://tnhealthandwellness.com/misconceptions-about-orthodontics/
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