While dentists help with general dental ailments and problems, in some cases, a dental problem may require the need of a specialist in order to be remedied. One such specialist is an orthodontist, who helps the patient get rid of dental alignment issues as well as for straightening crooked or bent teeth.
An orthodontist is majorly used for the treatment of malocclusions, which is, in layman terms, a bad bite. Bad bites include underbites, in which the lower jaw is extended further than the upper jaw, overbites, in which the upper jaw is extended further over the lower jaw as well as crossbite, in which the upper teeth are placed inwards to the lower teeth. Other types of bad bits include teeth protrusion, which means a set of teeth juts out more than its corresponding set of teeth in the opposite jaw, as well as crowding, in which the teeth cannot grow out properly due to lack of space. It also includes open bites, which means that there is zero overlap between the front teeth of the upper and the lower jaw and dental midline mismatch, in which the back teeth do not align properly. Generally the most common reasons to visit an orthodontist include spacing and crowding.
Some dental appliances given by an orthodontist include traditional braces, which are basically metal braces linked by wires in order to move teeth to the correct position as well as ceramic braces, which are same as metal braces but are made of ceramic. Damon braces make use of a slide mechanism to connect the wires between the brackets of the braces. Other appliances include palatal expanders which are used to move the teeth apart to prevent overcrowding as well as forsus appliances which help to position the jaw in the proper position. The orthodontist starts by aligning teeth in place and then using braces for the final alignment. Post the removal of braces removable aligners are also needed to ensure proper alignment of the teeth.
The proper age to have a check-up by an orthodontist is by seven years old to ensure that the alignment issues are detected as early as possible. Early visit can also stop some dental issues which are caused due to bad habits, for example, crooked teeth caused due to thumb sucking. The orthodontist would be able to guide the growth of the jaw as well as help to improve the structure and appearance of the teeth.
Overall, a dentist would be able to better tell whether you need the services of an orthodontist or other dental specialist in order for orthodontic or any other specialized dental work.