What is an Orthodontist?
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LAST UPDATED: JUNE 28, 2017
Orthodontics refers to the special branch of dentistry that works to correct the teeth and jaws on individuals where they’re improperly positioned. Crooked teeth are not only incorrectly aligned and therefore more difficult to keep clean, but are also at a greater risk for being lost prematurely due to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Crooked teeth can also put undue stress on a person’s chewing muscles, which can lead to chronic headaches as well as TMJ syndrome and back, shoulder, and neck pain. For many people, their misaligned teeth can be visually unattractive as well.
The key benefits of receiving professional orthodontic treatment include a better appearance, teeth that will probably last a lifetime, and a much healthier mouth overall.
Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
Only an orthodontist specialist can determine whether or not you require orthodontic treatment. Based on a full spectrum of diagnostic tools that involve both dental and medical history, plaster models of the teeth, a clinical exam, and X-rays and special photographs, will determine if orthodontics are right for you.
You may be a likely candidate for orthodontics if any of the following apply to you:
Often referred to as buck teeth, whereby the upper front teeth noticeably stick out over the lower teeth
When biting together in a normal manner, the upper teeth don’t come down properly in front of the lower teeth
Has the appearance of a ‘bulldog’ where the upper teeth are too far back and the lower teeth jut out too far
• Open Bite:
Significant amount of space between each biting surface of the side and/or front teeth when the teeth in the back bite together
Too many teeth for the person’s dental ridge to properly accommodate them all
Spaces, or gaps, between the teeth due to teeth that don’t quite fill up the person’s mouth or because of actual missing teeth
• Misplaced Midline:
When the upper front teeth’s center doesn’t line up with the lower front teeth’s center
How Orthodontics Work
Several different kinds of dental appliances, both removable and fixed, are utilized in order to help shift teeth, impact how the jaw develops, and retrain key muscles overall. These special appliances effectively work by gently placing pressure on both the teeth and jaws of the patient. The specific orthodontic approach that will likely have the most impact is primarily based on the severity of the problem.
Some fixed dental appliances include the following:
Braces are comprised of numerous bands, brackets, and wires and are the most common dental appliance. The bands are placed around the patient’s teeth and used as an anchor for the specific appliance, as brackets are commonly bonded to the front of the teeth. Arch wires are then passed through the brackets and subsequently attached to the dental bands. When the arch wire is tightened, it puts considerable tension on the patient’s teeth and gradually shifts them into their correct position, which can be accomplished within just a few short months or as long as a couple of years. Today’s dental braces are much lighter, smaller, and reveal far less metal. They’re also available in many bright, fun colors for younger children in addition to clearer styles that most adults prefer.
Invisalign treatment is an alternative approach to traditional adult braces. Innovative serial aligners are used today by more and more orthodontists in order to effectively shift teeth much the same way that fixed dental appliances work, except without the need for metal brackets and wires. Virtually invisible, aligners are easily removed to brush and floss teeth, and to eat. Custom aligners are changed approximately every few weeks and over time, the teeth are gradually moved into the correct position.
Fix Your Smile Today
Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.
When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.
Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics 900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.