A question people often ask is, “Can my dentist give me braces?” The simple answer is no.
Your dentist may offer orthodontic services, leading you to assume that he or she is an orthodontist. But the truth is that putting aligners or braces on teeth does not make a dentist an orthodontist.
Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.
We know...it sounds a little confusing because both dentists and orthodontists work on teeth. They both provide
professional care that helps patients have good oral health, and both are
dental school graduates.But Dentists and Orthodontists are very different when it comes to the alignment of your teeth.
Orthodontists and dentists undertake the same training initially, but orthodontists complete further training after they graduate dental school to become qualified in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orthodontic problems. Orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, and fitting them for braces and other corrective devices. The benefits of having an orthodontist work on your smile goes beyond just having a beautiful smile. Well-aligned teeth make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively.
Not everyone needs to have orthodontic treatment, but it may be required if you have any of the following issues:
Overbites: Also known as an deepbite, an overbite is excessive vertical overlapping of the front teeth and is often found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It usually results in excessive eruption of the upper or lower incisors or both.
Crossbites: A posterior cross-bite will usually result from a narrow upper jaw or abnormally wide lower jaw. A narrow upper jaw will often force a patient to move their lower jaw forward or to the side, when closing into a stable bite. When closed into this accommodating position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth. A posterior cross-bite can involve one side of the jaw, known as a unilateral cross-bite, or both sides of the jaw, known as a bilateral cross-bite.
Spacing issues: Spaces between teeth are another common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care. Like crowding, spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Spacing may occur between the front and the back teeth. Tooth size discrepancies, such as smaller teeth or abnormally-shaped teeth, can also create abnormal spaces between the teeth.
Crowding: Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common orthodontic problem. This problem typically stems from a discrepancy between space of the jaw and the size of the teeth. Oftentimes, crowding can be just one of several orthodontic problems. Crowding can be the cause of, or the result of other problems such as impacted teeth, retained teeth or teeth that do not naturally fall out. Cross-bite of the front or rear teeth can also cause the teeth to become crowded.