Orthodontists are specialized dentists who have undergone additional training to treat misaligned teeth and jaws. They examine patients, interpret x-rays and impressions, discuss diagnoses and treatment options, and provide dental appliances. Orthodontists help improve or correct misalignment or malocclusion by using hardware such as retainers and braces. The goal is to align the teeth and jaw to improve the patient's appearance or ability to chew without difficulty or pain.
The orthodontist's job is to identify why teeth and jaw muscles contribute to cavities or problems in the neck and spine. They may also be asked to design appliances such as retainers, wires for the lingual and lip arches, and space maintainers. In addition to braces, orthodontists deal with other conditions such as jaw pain, speech impediments, sleep apnea, gum disease, and difficulty chewing. Most dental schools require two or three years of additional training before a student qualifies as an orthodontist.
After dental school, those interested in becoming orthodontists must complete an orthodontic residency program to specialize in the field. During the initial appointment, an orthodontist will examine the patient's teeth and jaw, take x-rays, and shape the upper and lower teeth. Work schedules for orthodontists are flexible so they can adjust their schedules to meet the needs of their patients and themselves. Orthodontists must complete additional training in the field of orthodontics in order to treat patients.
They are the key to helping patients improve their smiles and overall oral health.