What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has a focus on correcting the alignment of a patient’s teeth and jaw in cases of misalignment. A patient may need to receive a realignment for cosmetic or functional purposes. Additionally, a realignment may alleviate pain or discomfort experienced by the patient.
An orthodontist, typically referred to by a general dentist, will correct many problems with the alignment of a patient’s teeth and jaw through the use of braces. These problems include crowding, spacing, crooked teeth, and more. If these types of problems are not corrected, the patient may have some negative experiences both now, and in the future. Usually, an initial consultation is needed before a treatment plan can be designed. At the initial consultation, an orthodontist will take x-rays and moldings of the mouth in order to make a proper assessment of your teeth and determine what treatment plan is necessary for your case.
What types of braces are available?
Traditional Braces: When you think of braces, this is typically the image that comes to mind. Traditional braces are made from high-grade stainless steel and utilize brackets that are cemented to the surface of each tooth. After the brackets are in place, a wire is placed in order to put pressure on your teeth and cause a slow correction.
In addition to brackets and wires, traditional braces also make use of elastics, bands, or o-rings. Your orthodontist will change these each time your braces are adjusted.
Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional braces. The key difference between ceramic and traditional braces is that ceramic braces utilize a transparent material that is much less visible than traditional brackets. Due to being less visible, ceramic braces are a popular option for adults looking to receive braces.
Damon Braces: With advances in technology, damon braces are growing in popularity. Damon braces provides you with a treatment that is both gentler and that requires less time in the office. Damon braces use a slide mechanism in place of elastics to connect your brackets and wires. Typically, damon braces will provide a quicker treatment process, as they allow teeth to move naturally, without needing adjustments. Due to how Damon braces work, there is less friction and pain as your teeth move.
Removable Trays: You have probably heard of Invisalign, right? Invisalign is system of transparent, removable trays that is a popular alternative to braces. These trays, or aligners, are custom-made for your individual case and can be removed at any time to eat or drink. Typically, you will wear an aligner for roughly two weeks before transitioning to the next tray and advancing your treatment. Invisalign is a popular choice amongst people who do not want the hassle or the poking and prodding of metal braces, and want to spend less time in the chair.
Not all orthodontists will offer all types of orthodontic treatment options. It is important to consult your dentist and an orthodontist in order to determine which kind of braces will provide you with the best results.