About OrthodontistsFind a Doctor
Orthodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malocclusions, known as improper bites or how the teeth meet when a patient bites down such as open bite, cross bite, overbite and under bite. They also focus on tooth placement and alignment as well as jaw irregularities.
An orthodontist provides expert diagnosis and treatment to prevent or correct misaligned teeth and jaws, which can include the application of braces, retainers or other corrective devices to realign teeth. In some cases where a severe malocclusion, or improper bite, is diagnosed the patient may also require surgery to correct tooth alignment.
Reasons for needing orthodontics can include heredity dental problems, growth or malformation of the jaws, or overcrowding of teeth. Orthodontics might also be course of treatment as a result of tooth loss or tooth decay and injury that affects the structure of the mouth.
Orthodontists examine patient x-rays and photos taken of the patients bite externally to determine the severity of the malocclusion and decide upon the most suitable form of treatment. Patients receiving orthodontic care range from those seeking treatment for not only health reasons but also for cosmetic reasons. Other health problems can occur as a result of improper jaw and teeth alignment and can range from breathing problems such as snoring and sleep apnea to affecting the way a patients speaks.
Orthodontists use a range of different techniques depending on the patients diagnosis after assessing X-rays of the teeth and jaw and using molds to assess the treatment from start to completion.