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What is an Orthodontist?

Did you know all orthodontists are trained, experienced dentists who have completed additional specialist qualifications to become orthodontists? However, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, only 6% of dentists are orthodontists. That’s a small number. So, what’s the difference between these two professions, and when should you see an orthodontist?

Dr. Spillers and Dr. Gordon, along with most orthodontists, work closely with dentists to look after your oral health. However, when it comes to certain issues, it’s important to see an orthodontist to get the best treatment.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry. An orthodontist is an expert in the diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities, or malocclusion, which means “bad bite”. Orthodontists are skilled in treatments that will bring teeth, lips, and jaws into proper alignment.

Orthodontics is not only for cosmetic purposes, but also treats and prevents physical health problems related to facial, jaw and tooth misalignment. Orthodontics can prevent bone destruction, chewing, and digestive problems as well as headaches, speech impairments, tooth loss, and chipped teeth due to a bad bite.

How Does an Orthodontist’s Training Differ from a Dentist’s?

In America, orthodontic specialists must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Afterwards, they complete four years of dental school. On top of this, orthodontists must also complete an additional two or three years of schooling specializing in orthodontics.

After approximately 10 years of school and training, orthodontic graduates will have received training in such topics as genetics, embryology, human growth, and development. They really know how the entire body works in relation to your mouth, jaw, and teeth.
Why Should you see an Orthodontist for Braces or Invisalign?

Orthodontics is about what you can’t see. Yes, we know traditional braces and advancements like Invisalign will straighten your teeth, and improve your smile cosmetically. However, only an orthodontist has the education and training to make you look great, and diagnose and treat problems that aren’t visible, which may cause discomfort and health problems down the road.

Reasons to See an Orthodontist Include:

• Boosting your self-esteem: An orthodontist can analyze your smile and give you the beautiful smile you always wanted.
• Orthodontists are trained to treat malocclusions, also known as bad bites, which contribute to speech difficulty, tooth loss, chipped teeth, temporomandibular disorder, (TMD) and other concerns.
• Orthodontists can properly align teeth, jaws, and lips, alleviating or preventing physical health problems that may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing and digestive difficulties, and some studies show even heart disease.

To learn if you can benefit from orthodontic treatment, call 478-953-2700 to set up a complimentary consultation with Spillers Orthodontics today.