What is orthodontics?
Braces, elastics, retainers, crooked teeth – they all have something to do with orthodontics. But what exactly is the practice of orthodontics?
Orthodontics comes under the dentistry family. It’s a branch of the industry which focuses on the correct alignment of a patient's teeth and jaws. This correction is done with the use of orthodontic appliances, such as traditional metal braces, lingual braces and Invisalign aligners.
An orthodontist is a qualified dentist, they have completed the same degree as a dentist, but have chosen to go on and specialise with postgraduate study in the field of orthodontics.
What is the role of an orthodontist?
An orthodontist has a very different role to play in your oral health to a dentist. It is important you have regular check-ups with your dentist to keep on top of your overall oral health. This includes identifying any signs of cavities, whitening teeth, or fixing a chipped or broken tooth.
If your teeth are crooked, or you suffer from one of the common orthodontic problems listed below, you’re best to see a specialist orthodontist.
Types of orthodontic problems
How do you know if you need to see an orthodontist? If you suffer from any of the following issues, you could certainly benefit from orthodontic treatment:
If your teeth are overlapping and there isn’t enough space in your mouth for them all, this is known in orthodontics as crowding.
If you have big gaps between your teeth, this is known as spacing. It’s the opposite problem to crowding.
When you close your mouth by getting your teeth to meet at the back, test to see where your front teeth sit. If your top teeth sit significantly out over your bottom teeth, you have an overbite.
Try biting your teeth again. If your lower teeth sit significantly out over your upper teeth, you have an underbite.
If your teeth don’t meet at all when you bite your teeth at the back, you have an open bite. All bite problems are caused by a misaligned jaw, which orthodontists are qualified and experienced in fixing.
If you would like to book a free consultation with our specialist orthodontists here at St Albans Orthodontics, you can do so today.