What is Orthodontics?

December 09, 2013  |   Treatment   |     |   Comments Off on What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the dental specialty that involves the movement of the teeth and their supporting structures to achieve a harmonious blend of function and aesthetics. This requires the use of braces, sometimes in combination with other appliances, for a period averaging eighteen to twenty four months. Occasionally, early intervention or Phase I therapy is indicated to avert a more serious problem, redirect growth of the teeth and jaws or simply to achieve a more pleasing smile at an earlier age. This will often increase a young child’s self-confidence if the appearance of the teeth is a concern but they are not yet ready for “full braces”.

Orthodontists train for an additional two to three years after dental school to learn the entire spectrum of tooth movement and dentofacial orthopedics. It is a very complicated field in that every patient is unique and has their own particular treatment modality that will work best for them. Additionally, in the case of children, the orthodontist is dealing with a growing patient. With adult patients, periodontal (gums and supporting bone) issues as well as restored or missing teeth are an issue. This makes the field of orthodontics extremely challenging as well as vastly rewarding.