What is orthodontics?
In the same way as there are specialties in different fields of medicine such as neurology or ophthalmology, dentists also have the choice to specialize. Orthodontics is a dental specialty which deals with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of facial and dental irregularities.
Orthodontics mainly deals with improper positioning of teeth. A person may have overcrowded teeth, an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth or jaw misalignment which can lead to speech or eating problems. It is in such cases that orthodontic treatment is recommended to slowly change teeth positioning to be straight and aligned.
Orthodontists are qualified dentists who embark on an additional three years of university level study and gain extensive clinical experience in an orthodontic practice.
A major dilemma people have when experiencing teeth problems is whether to go to a dentist or orthodontist. Well, it boils down to what kind of treatment you need. Both specialists have a valuable role in maintaining your dental health and will often work together to offer holistic treatments. If your dentist thinks you need orthodontic work, he or she will refer you to a specialist orthodontist. A dentist can help with general dental, cosmetic work or extraction of a tooth to complement orthodontic work.