What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of tooth misalignments and jaw irregularities (malocclusion) using a variety of appliances such as retainers, traditional metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign clear aligners, expanders, headgear and functional appliances. While one of the greatest benefits of orthodontic treatment is to provide aesthetic enhancement for a better smile and self confidence, it also leads to a properly aligned bite resulting in improved overall oral health for a lifetime!
What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who chooses to become an expert in a single area of dentistry – orthodontic treatment or braces (aligning the teeth and jaws). An orthodontic specialist attends an orthodontic residency program that is focused SOLELY on orthodontics for an additional 2 years after completing 4 years of dental school and earning their DDS or DMD general dental degree. While some general dentists do offer braces to patients, an orthodontist is the expert in recognizing and treating tooth alignment and bite issues. Because most orthodontic cases take about 2 years on average to complete, it is difficult for anyone to become adept at diagnosing and treating orthodontic cases to board quality standards without dedicating an additional 2 years of their life after becoming a dentist to orthodontic education. This specialty training qualifies Orthodontists to treat a wide range of orthodontic problems from mild crowding and spacing to severe skeletal issues requiring jaw surgery. Orthodontists do not place fillings, caps, crowns or make dentures. Instead they focus on ONE thing – orthodontic care and braces. If you want the best outcome for you or your child, only trust your smile to an orthodontic specialist!
How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Take?
Every patient presents with a unique malocclusion. Orthodontic treatment typically takes 6-30 months and is dependent upon the patient age, growth, severity of alignment issues, amount of tooth movement required, bone biology and remodeling, the treatment modality that is utilized as well as patient compliance. It is fairly simple to straighten the front teeth and if that is your only concern, we offer multiple treatment options to achieve a beautiful smile in a short period of time! We can do Six Month Smiles and also can provide Smile Care Club treatment at a similar cost if that is your desire. It is important that an orthodontist monitors tooth movement to prevent irreversible root and bone damages – which could lead to tooth loss – and can only be detected by an x-ray. It’s also equally important to maintain the results achieved and mail order orthodontic care has no follow up in place to protect your financial investment. Orthodontic treatment is the 1st step in achieving a beautiful smile, but at OAI we feel that the 2nd – and most important step – is retaining the result for life! Achieving a beautiful smile is a goal of every orthodontist, but orthodontic specialists also strive to correct the occlusion (bite) in order to achieve ideal function for life and prevent irreversible enamel wear and potential jaw joint issues (TMD). Patients who choose OAI for their orthodontic care can feel 100% confident that they are receiving the very best, board-quality orthodontic care in order to achieve not only ideal esthetics, but excellent function and long-term stability.
What Problems are Treated with Orthodontics?
Spaced or gapped teeth
Crooked or rotated teeth
Openbites & deepbites
Crossbites & underbites
Flared & protrusive teeth
Misshapen teeth & gums
jaw or bite discrepancies
functional shifts, cants, asymmetries
Abnormally erupted or ectopic teeth & impacted teeth
What is the First Step?
Orthodontic problems, which often result from genetic factors but can be exacerbated by environmental factors such as finger sucking, must be diagnosed before treatment begins. Proper diagnosis involves taking orthodontic records (x-rays, photographs and digital impressions) that will enable your orthodontic specialist to make informative decisions about which treatment is right for you. We recognize that outstanding results are dependent on maximizing the coordination of care between you and our practice. We are committed to delivering the best possible service in order for you to achieve your orthodontic objectives in an efficient manner. A properly aligned bite makes it easier to eat, smile and speak and has been proven to boost confidence for a successful future!