An orthodontist is a dentist who works with people with a range of problems associated with crooked or misaligned teeth. Most treatments involve fitting braces to help to reposition the teeth using gentle continuous pressure over a period of time. Although any dentist can perform these treatments if they believe that they are competent to do so, only a dentist who has undergone an additional 3 years of training and passed all the relevant exams can be called a specialist orthodontist.
You may find that your own dentist may refer you to an orthodontist if they believe that your dental issues require it. Or you may choose to consult an orthodontist if you are considering having some cosmetic teeth straightening treatment. There are some dental practices, such as Northlight Dental in Milton Keynes, that have a specialist orthodontist working as part of their in-house dental team.
How can I find out if an orthodontist can help me?
The British Orthodontic Society estimates that around 75% of all adults would benefit from some form of teeth straightening treatment. Around 200,000 children and teenagers receive such treatment each year, and there is now an ever growing demand from many adults for treatment too. There are many benefits from having your teeth straightened. From a purely aesthetic point of view straighter teeth will definitely give you a more attractive smile. More importantly, straighter teeth are much easier to care for, which means that your overall oral health will also be improved in the long-term.
When you consult an orthodontist about having your teeth straightened, they will be able to advise you on the most suitable option for your particular needs. There are now a much wider range of treatments available. These include removable retainers, fixed braces with tooth-coloured wires and brackets and lingual braces that are fitted to the backs of your teeth. The choice of braces that you are offered will depend on the type of teeth straightening that you require. Many adults opt to have just the front few teeth straightened, but you may need more complex treatment if there are issues with your bite and the way that your back teeth are aligned.