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What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Nov 11

Orthodontists are specialists who use braces to correct misaligned teeth. They work closely with dentists and pediatricians to ensure children receive proper care throughout childhood and into adulthood. Orthodontic treatments can help people improve their appearance and self-esteem while improving their ability to eat, speak and smile.

What is an Orthodontist?

Rockingham Dental Centre orthodontists are dental professionals who specialize in treating malocclusions, or bite problems, including crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, overbites/underbites, crossbites, open bites, and jaw issues. They work closely with patients and parents to develop a plan to correct these conditions.

In addition to providing general care, orthodontists perform procedures such as extractions, crown lengthening, root canal therapy, periodontal surgery, bone grafting, and many others.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

Orthodontic treatments are used to correct problems with tooth alignment, bite-size, jaw position, and spacing. These conditions can cause serious damage to chewing ability, speech, self-esteem, and general health. They can even lead to tooth loss.

The most common type of orthodontic treatment involves braces. Braces consist of wires and brackets attached to each tooth, which are moved into place to move the teeth into proper alignment. This process takes anywhere from six months to several years depending on how severe the problem is.

In addition to braces, there are other types of orthodontic treatments available including clear aligners and retainers. Retainers are small rubber bands placed around the upper and lower teeth to keep them aligned while the patient wears the aligner trays. Clear aligners are thin plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gradually shift the teeth into their ideal positions. Both methods require multiple visits to the office and can take about 18 months to complete.

While orthodontics is often recommended for children, adults can benefit from the same procedures. Adults tend to experience some of the same problems as kids, such as crowded teeth and crooked smiles. However, adult orthodontic cases are usually less complex and easier to treat.

How do I know when I need to see an orthodontist?

Orthodontic treatment is something that many people don't think about until it's too late. However, there are several signs that could indicate that you're due for some orthodontic attention. While most cases of crooked teeth can be fixed with minor adjustments or even without treatment, certain conditions can require much more extensive procedures such as extractions, bone grafting, and surgery. If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, it might be time to schedule an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist.

  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Misaligned bite
  • Inability to close the mouth completely
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Chipped or cracked tooth enamel
  • Broken or missing teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Tongue thrusting into the cheek
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Painful gums
  • Bad breath
  • Poor dental hygiene

Why should I visit a specialist orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who specialises in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malocclusion, or tooth alignment problems. They are highly skilled professionals who use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat complex conditions like jaw growth disorders, crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, gummy smiles, and other irregularities. Orthodontists work closely with dentists, oral surgeons, and periodontists to ensure each patient receives the highest quality care.


An orthodontist is a dental specialist who diagnoses and treats teeth and jaw alignment problems. They use braces, retainers, and other appliances to straighten teeth and fix bite problems. If you have any concerns about your teeth or jaw, be sure to consult with an orthodontist.