What is an orthodontist?
By Growing Smiles Orthodontics
Dentistry is a vast field. Although it may seem just like a medical field related to oral issues and treatments of the teeth, it is far more advanced and has many categories within. Each of these fields requires vast experience and dentists, more often than not are all specialists in their fields.
This blog aims to answer one of the most sought-after and medically advanced areas in the 21st century which is Orthodontics. The science practiced by an orthodontic specialist whose primary job is to ensure dental health and straight teeth through various treatment options.
Through various questions, Growing Smiles orthodontics aims to answer some questions on the differences. Most of you may know that an orthodontist deals with braces but may not have been aware that the field extends far beyond. With innovations such as Invisalign, a technology that combines data science and artificial intelligence the field has truly been disrupted. Who knew that 3D printing technology would take over something as traditional as metal braces?
What is orthodontics and how is it different from general dentistry?
General dentistry deals with all types of treatments and appliances related to the oral health of the teeth. Orthodontics, on the other hand, is a specialized field in dental school that primarily deals with the movement of teeth, thereby ensuring correct occlusion of crooked teeth as well as the correctness of bite.
Although dentists differ in their fields, it is advised for doctors to work together to achieve optimal orthodontic outcomes. Contrary to popular belief, orthodontics not only deals with ensuring a beautiful smile, but the functionality aspect ensures a lifetime of good oral health.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist?
While gathering information for our Orthodontic blog at Growing Smiles, we asked an Orthodontist in Bangalore what came to his mind when asked about the difference. He said orthodontists are the dental specialists who bridge the gap between dentistry and physics. The primary difference being, orthodontists are concerned with occlusion, alignment and bite of the teeth using various treatments that involve braces work using different types of braces that apply pressure on the teeth.
Wearing braces is often a life changing decision that often impacts one’s lifestyle. Although some general dentists treat teeth with braces, the complete treatment must always be done by an orthodontist.
What are the main fields of study for orthodontists?
Almost in every country, orthodontists require a specialized license before they can start any kind of treatment. The three main fields of study are microbiology, physiology, and dental anatomy. Dental material science is also important since ceramic braces and metal braces may each have varying impacts on a patient.
Orthodontists & Pediatric dentists undergoes 3 years of intense training and 5000 hours of treatment in order to get certified. They treat people of all age groups and are well aware of technological advancements in data science and AI.
Orthodontists are also experts in understanding bone structure and facial development. The two aspects are important in understanding tooth movements and often play an important role in treatment outcomes. With advancement in clear aligners such as invisalign, orthodontists are able to achieve perfect results.
Do you have to be an orthodontist to provide Invisalign?
Although the laws may vary by country and geography, only certified Invisalign orthodontists are recommended to provide Invisalign treatment. In India as they are well versed with the Invisalign treatment process, it is mandated that only Invisalign certified dentists provide Invisalign. Growing Smiles Orthodontics, one of the Invisalign providers in Bangalore is one such example where orthodontists are certified Invisalign specialists.
Invisalign treatment in a location Whitefield Bangalore was preferred over other types of orthodontic braces since it is suitable to the lifestyle of young IT professionals which represents a significant portion of Bangalore’s population.
Some skeptics believe that Invisalign may replace the need for orthodontists. However, the vast knowledge of the orthodontists in developing treatment plans and understanding the unique needs of each case lies at the core.
What should orthodontists include in a treatment plan?
Treatment planning is the first and most critical step in orthodontic treatment. The beauty of orthodontics is that each result can be achieved by various methods using different treatments. Be it dental braces that involve metal brackets or fixed appliances that put pressure to ensure the best results even before the start of treatment.
One of the aspects that a patient has to be sure of is whether the goal is to reach aesthetic appeal, functional correctness or a mix of both. The treatment plan must include the following points agreed upon by the patient as well as the orthodontist.
Few of the best Orthodontic treatment steps involve
Timeline of each stage
Teeth movement along each stage and the appliance involved.
The various impacted teeth and any extractions along the way if necessary.
Risks involved and success rate of outcomes desired.
Impact on molar functionality and type of bite correction.
The different types of orthodontic braces an orthodontist provides
Apart from traditional treatments using metal braces, orthodontists also provide other types of orthodontic braces such as self ligating braces that are faster while at the same time apply lesser pressure. Removable orthodontic appliances are also commonly used before treatments. These appliances are often used before braces so as to increase the chances of success in treatments. Removable appliances are limited to single tooth movements and hence have restricted capabilities. However, when combined with braces, orthodontists are able to achieve best results.