There’s more to dentistry than just being a dentist. These days, many dentists finish their initial training, which takes several years and qualifies them to be a general dentist, and then train for another 2 or 3 years so that they can be a recognised specialist in a particular area of dentistry. With the increasing demand for straight teeth, it’s not unusual for someone to tell you that they have been having treatment with an orthodontist.
“Gosh! That sounds impressive”, I hear you cry. It also sounds very American. In American movies, everyone is always being treated by either their orthodontist or their gynaecologist (it’s important not to get the two mixed up!). In the UK, we now hear people talking about going to the orthodontist, who may well be masquerading as a very nice dentist who knows a lot about teeth straightening in a dental practice such as Liverpool Smile Studio in Liverpool.
What can an orthodontist do for you?
What an orthodontist is highly trained in is the science of straightening teeth and realigning the jaws so that the teeth bite together properly. There is a lot to know and understand about how teeth move in the jawbone and how to get them to move so that they all line up properly along the jawbone. Some cases are more complicated than others, and orthodontists have to be able to align teeth without pushing others out of place. In some cases, they will also have to realign the jaws too.
Orthodontic treatment can take up to 3 years, depending on the severity of the case. Cases involving realignment of the jaw are best done while the patient is in their early teens and everything is growing and more malleable. Sometimes braces are not enough and you might have to wear something bigger, called head gear at night.
That said, many, many people have nothing wrong with their bites. Their teeth come together as they should, they just happen to be a bit wonky in some way. Maybe too crowded, or protruding, or pointing in, or they have not descended properly. These problems are much quicker to fix, and, because teeth are never really static in the jaw, they can be moved whatever your age.