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Orthodontist or Dentist? Do you know the difference?

It never surprises me that people don’t often know the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. Instead of giving a resume of other their specialism, it is either to explain by way of an example

Have you ever noticed that even the most happy-go-luck people sometimes hide their mouth when they smile? The reason is generally that they are embarrassed of their crocked teeth (they could also be eating at the time to be fair).

If it is the former then it is time to see an orthodontist. Orthodontists are specialist dentists with advanced training in altering the position of teeth, generally to produce a straight smile. So if you have ever thought that your teeth are a little wonky or you want a better smile then see an orthodontist. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering getting orthodontic work done.

What Do Orthodontists Do?

The primary reason that people and predominantly children see an orthodontist is to correct a malocclusion, or a “bad bite.” They address this issue by straightening the teeth and therefore your bite together with your jaws. To do this they generally use braces or retainers.  If your dentist is not a registered orthodontist then the chances are they will refer you to a specialist.

When to Go to an Orthodontist

The rule of thumb is that ideally children should see an orthodontist no later than age 7, even if there is no problems. That’s because the jaw is still developing and it’s best to catch issues early. For adults, there is no minimum or indeed, maximum age – it’s just when you decide you want to do something about it!

Choosing an Orthodontist

The best place is to start is to ask your dentist to find out if they are an orthodontist. If not then ask them to recommend one. Before visiting, do your research particularly on social media to see what others have said about the orthodontists you are considering.

Consultation First

Once you have short listed two or three, then see if they offer free or low-cost consultations. This will not only allow you to see the practice, but also see if their personality is right for you. Remember some orthodontic treatments can take well over a year depending on your treatment plan.

Finally, get a full quotation for the work being undertaken so you are fully aware of the financial commitment