Is Orthodontics the Same as Braces?

Orthodontic treatment does more than just move your teeth in a straight line. While having nicer teeth is certainly one of the benefits of braces, orthodontists are trained to detect and correct complex bite and jaw problems that go beyond the scope of general dentists. Dentists are more likely to provide short-term solutions and treatment plans, while orthodontists specialize in long-term care plans for patients. Orthodontists are also better equipped to understand the different types of orthodontic treatments, such as metal braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces, etc., and how to avoid any potential complications with each.

Orthodontic appliances come in various forms and usually consist of braces attached to the teeth and wires in the shape of a thin arc threaded through them. The wire arches act like a track, guiding each tooth to its ideal position. Experienced orthodontists know the best and most up-to-date methods of treatment and can customize an approach for each patient based on their individual needs. Orthodontists perform daily dental straightening procedures and stay up to date on the latest best practices and technology, investing in the newest equipment and attending classes, seminars, and workshops frequently. Orthodontists are dentists who have chosen to specialize in the alignment of teeth.

To ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful, it's important to be aware of which candies could loosen the braces attached to your teeth. Thanks to advances in orthodontics, many adults now opt for orthodontic therapy to correct alignment issues that may have been present since childhood or due to an accident or tooth loss. Getting accepted into an orthodontic residency program after dental school can be difficult due to the high level of competition. Orthodontics has changed drastically compared to the bulky metal appliances many of us remember from years ago. Only after a dentist has completed this residency program can they be referred to as an orthodontist.

Additionally, orthodontists focus on long-term care plans tailored to each patient's unique needs. Some general dentists may have experience with orthodontics, but it's best to get treatment from someone who specializes in what you need. Once accepted, students will undergo two or three years of full-time training focusing on orthodontics. In fact, dentists often refer their patients to an orthodontist if there are alignment issues or abnormalities in the bite. Carrie is an active member of the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, the Illinois Society of Orthodontists, and the Illinois State Dental Society and regularly attends continuing education courses.

Callie Bawcombe
Callie Bawcombe

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