Introduction to Orthodontics
Your smile is one of your most important features and having confidence in your smile can have a significant positive impact on your life. There are multiple benefits of orthodontic treatment including psychological and physical improvements.
Crooked and crowded teeth can be a cosmetic issue; however, they are also harder to clean, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If your teeth don’t align properly when you bite you may face challenges with speaking, chewing and swallowing.
Having orthodontic treatment is an investment and decisions around the type of treatment you have and who provides it for you, should be made with the correct information. We hope this blog will equip you with the information you need. If you have any other questions the team at Clear Orthodontic Studio are ready to answer them for you.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental speciality focussing on correcting teeth and jaw irregularities and improving their function. This can include straightening teeth and correcting misaligned bites through the use of orthodontic appliances, such as braces and clear aligners (Australian Society of Orthodontics).
Who to see for Orthodontic treatment?
An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed a degree in dentistry and then been accepted to study for a further 3 years at university to specialise in orthodontics. While both dentists and orthodontists work to improve your overall health, orthodontists specialise in one area. Similar to seeing your GP (general medical practitioner) or seeing a specialist such as a cardiologist for a heart condition.
While there are dentists who do orthodontic work, it is advisable that orthodontic treatment (including braces and clear aligners) should ideally be provided by a registered specialist orthodontist. Orthodontists have the skills and expertise to correctly diagnose orthodontic problems, assess and monitor your tooth movements, and safeguard the health of your teeth. Poor orthodontic treatment can have significant health implications such as tooth loss, gum recession and longer than expected treatment times. It is worth noting that you do not need a referral to see an orthodontist.
When to see an orthodontist
There are a range of orthodontic treatment options available, depending on the severity of your orthodontic needs, personal goals and biological factors. The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends having an orthodontic assessment between 7-10 years of age, even if there are still baby teeth present.
Early intervention is much easier at this stage of development and treatment times are greatly reduced as the mouth and jaws are still growing. However, many adults can achieve beautiful and lasting results through orthodontic treatment, we recommend making an appointment to find out what treatment can do for you.