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What is an Orthodontist?

To clarify any confusion between a dentist and an orthodontist edina minnesota, we will discuss the role of an orthodontist below so that you can make an informed decision when determining if you need the specialized care of an orthodontist.

Defining an Orthodontist

An orthodontist is a dental professional specializing in the alignment of the teeth and jaw. A dentist practices more generalized dental care with preventative and restorative work. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists!

Patients that have been diagnosed with malocclusion, crowded and crooked teeth should seek the treatment of an orthodontist.

What does an Orthodontist do?

Orthodontists complete dental school but continue their education specializing in orthodontia. Your general dentist can refer you to an orthodontist to correct alignment before major restorative work or simply to straighten crooked teeth.

Our teeth are meant to sit straight up and down, not tilting or turning to one side or the other. Gaps and spaces in the teeth will only become larger over time so an orthodontist will work to pull those teeth in closer together to form nice contacts between the teeth. If your teeth are overcrowded, it can lead to periodontal disease and gum recession so they may have excess teeth extracted to allow space for everything.

Orthodontists are able to place braces or advise clear aligner therapy for their patients to correct alignment. Braces use a system of brackets and wires to pull teeth into the correct position. Brackets are cemented to the front of the teeth and an archwire is threaded through the brackets. The wire is periodically tightened until the desired result is accomplished. Braces are usually in place for one to two years, depending on the amount of movement needed.

If you are a candidate for clear aligner therapy, such as Invisalign, your orthodontist will take digital scans and pictures. The aligners are fabricated and every week, you will change into a new set of aligners. As with braces, clear aligners will be worn for a period of time depending on the amount of movement to be achieved. Clear aligners are a great option for those who do not want to have metal wires and brackets. They are also removable for eating and oral hygiene practices.

Cases in which more space is required or you have a narrow arch, a palate expander may be used to widen the arch of the upper jaw.

How does an Orthodontic Appointment Work?

When your dentist refers you to an orthodontist, you have been diagnosed with an alignment issue or jaw issue. The orthodontist will further determine what is ailing you and how best to treat it. For most problems, you should expect to visit the ortho office multiple times. Braces and Invisalign are the most common treatment and definitely require multiple visits over the course of a year or more.

If your child has a narrow mouth, she or he may benefit from a palate expander to widen the palate to allow more space for erupting teeth as well as a better function for the tongue.

Reverse Pull Headgear could be an option for young patients who has an underbite. It looks like the front part of a football helmet, and is put on every night during sleep to promote the growth of the mid face for a growing child.

Your first visit will involve an exam and consultation with x-rays and photos and intra-oral camera scans. Your next visit will be to have your braces, Invisalign or expander placed. Then you will visit the orthodontist regularly and frequently to have them adjusted and checked. Once the desired movement has been achieved, your braces can come off!

How Much Education and Training do Orthodontists Receive?

Orthodontists receive the same general dentistry education at dental school as general dentists but continue on with special education and training specifically for orthodontia for an additional two to three years, just as a medical doctor specializes in surgery or another field. It is always a great idea to seek professional opinion from an orthodontist, even bettter, a board-certified one! Working with an Orthodontist can help you achieve the best and healthiest smile possible!

More About Orthodontists : What are the Benefits of Seeing an Orthodontist?

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

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Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.

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