What is Orthodontics or an Orthodontist

What is Orthodontics or an Orthodontist

A lot of people think that orthodontists are the same as dentists but this is not the case. San Antonio Orthodontists are specialists although of course they are part of the dental treatment professional family. This post is designed to make the differences very clear and it is hoped that it is informative and easy to understand.

Orthodontics is a highly specialised branch of dentistry that addresses problems related to the alignment of the teeth and jaws. As such, it is of course closely related to the field of general dentistry, but the very specific problems with which it deals at the same time somewhat sets it apart.Orthodontics san antonio

Therefore, orthodontists do not usually perform general dental procedures (such as fillings, extractions, whitening, etc.), but are instead highly-trained specialists whose qualifications and skills enable them to address a wide variety of structural problems associated with the teeth and jaws, such as crowded teeth, underbite, impacted teeth, as well as many other conditions.

The very specialised nature of the work that they do therefore means that orthodontists are required to undertake specialist studies above and beyond those which are required to practise as a general dentist.

As well as completing a 5-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree, an orthodontist is also required to complete a 3-year Masters degree/Doctorate in Orthodontics. In addition, in order to practise in the US, an orthodontist must be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by the American Dental Association and have an affiliation with the American Association of Orthodontists.
*An orthodontist is a dentist who has not only completed a graduate program in dentistry to receive their DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine), but has also gone through a competitive residency at a CODA-accredited orthodontic program for an additional 2-3 years to be trained specifically in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. * from the ABO website

This specialised training and professional regulation, as well as the fact that they have experience in dealing with the full range of orthodontic conditions, means that orthodontists are acknowledged as the most-qualified practitioners to deal with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any problems associated with the alignment of teeth and jaws (known technically as malocclusion, which literally means ‘bad bite’).

As specialists, a patient requiring treatment from an orthodontist does not require a referral from a general dentist. However, for many patients a referral from their dentist is the first step in receiving orthodontic treatment, and so they can rest assured that their orthodontist will work in close consultation and partnership with their family dentist. An experienced orthodontist will consider their role to be part of a team dedicated to a patient’s dental well-being, and so will always keep a patient’s dentist fully informed of any work or procedures being undertaken.

Therefore, while San Antonio orthodontics is a distinct, specialist branch of dentistry that deals with very specific conditions and problems, the work of an orthodontist supports the role that family dentists play, and so the two professions can be seen very much as working in partnership.

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At what age should a child have an orthodontic examination?

At what age should a child have an orthodontic examination?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that most children should have an orthodontic screening by age 7. This allows us to evaluate if orthodontic treatment will be required and the best time for the patient to be treated. Many of the dentists in our community have been trained to identify orthodontic problems early, and may refer you to Dr. Cochran earlier than age 7.Orthodontist in san antonio

Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?
Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for permanent teeth, and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth.

If early treatment is indicated, we can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment

In addition to better-looking teeth, what are some other benefits of orthodontic treatment?
Braces can improve function of the bite and teeth, improve ability to clean the teeth, prevent wear on the teeth, and increase the longevity of natural teeth.

Does early treatment benefit all children?
Early treatment does not necessarily benefit all children. Certain types of orthodontic problems can be more easily and efficiently corrected in the teen years when all the permanent teeth have erupted, while still other orthodontic problems should not be addressed until growth is more advanced or completed. Dr. Younger and Dr. Groesbeck develop a plan for treatment based on each individual child’s needs.

If a child has treatment early, will this prevent the need for braces as an adolescent?
Early treatment can begin the correction of significant problems, prevent more severe problems from developing, and simplify future treatment. Because all of the permanent teeth have not yet erupted when early treatment is performed, all the permanent teeth have not been corrected. Typically, a second comprehensive phase of treatment in the teen years, after all the permanent teeth have erupted, completes the correction.braces San Antonio

Do we still need to see our family dentists if we’re already seeing Dr. Cochran?
Patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances require more effort to keep their teeth and gums clean. Because we want to insure the highest level of dental health, they will require you to see your family dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

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