1. Orthodontists are specialists
Orthodontists are experts in their field, specialising in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities to help correctly align teeth, bites and jaws, including straightening crooked teeth.
Although orthodontists and dentists share many similarities - they both work hard to help you improve your overall oral health – specialisation is what sets an orthodontist apart from a dentist. It’s a bit like the difference between your GP medical doctor and a specialist physician like a dermatologist (or any other medical specialist).
Did you know that orthodontists complete an additional three years of full-time university training, on top of their general dental degree? As well as that, they limit their practice to only orthodontic treatment so that is all they do all day, every day. Only an orthodontist has been specifically trained and is the most qualified and experienced person to treat issues to do with the alignment of teeth and jaws to ensure you, or your child, ends up with a healthy and confident smile.
2. Your smile is one of your most important features
It is one of the first things we notice when we greet someone, it’s the way we remember one another, and it’s the way we interact with one another. Having confidence in your smile can positively change your life, which is why consulting an orthodontist to help you create your most healthy and attractive smile is so important.
A beautiful, straight smile not only means your teeth are easier to clean and your gums are healthier, it can also help exude confidence and reduce stress.
3. Psychological and physical benefits
In addition to psychological benefits such as improved self-confidence, orthodontic treatment also brings many physical benefits, including a beautiful smile through the correction of:
- Bad bites that can damage teeth and gums
- Protruding or misaligned teeth
- Gaps in your smile
- Crooked and overcrowded teeth
- Speech, breathing or chewing difficulties
- Misaligned jaws (which can affect your facial profile)
- An orthodontist can also help in the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea and can help manage persistent thumb and finger sucking habits in children.
4. Options to suit every lifestyle
Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the days of chunky metal braces, bands and headgears; today, contemporary orthodontic treatments are designed to be as unobtrusive and comfortable as possible so patients can get on with their lives without embarrassment or discomfort.
While braces are still an extremely effective way of straightening teeth and achieving a great smile, modern orthodontic treatment options now include clear braces, lingual (inside) braces and clear aligners (for example Invisalign / Clear Correct).
Whether you’re considering clear aligners or traditional braces, only a specialist orthodontist has the training, experience and complete suite of treatment options to give you the confidence you’re in the best hands possible.
5. Kids and orthodontics
Did you know that young kids with crooked teeth or bad bites should be seen by an orthodontist at around age 7-8yrs? Did you also know that that no referral is needed to see an orthodontist?
If you answered ‘no,’ don’t worry, you’re not alone! Most Aussie parents are a little confused when it comes to understanding orthodontics.
What is important to understand is that some (but not all) orthodontic problems can be easily corrected when treated in young growing jaws, well before all the adult teeth are through. Waiting until the teenage years to see an orthodontist for the first time can result in further worsening of these early problems resulting in more complicated and invasive treatment methods which would otherwise have been avoided.
Although early orthodontic treatment won’t be needed for all youngsters, taking your child to see an orthodontist between the ages of 7-10 will give the orthodontist a chance to assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws and determine if and when, early intervention is indicated.
Orthodontists are highly trained to pinpoint a child’s orthodontic problems from a young age, even if they are subtle, and they can start correcting some problems to avoid potential long term issues.
About this blog
The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) is the peak body for Orthodontists and orthodontic knowledge across Australia.
Orthodontics Australia by the ASO, is the ASO’s public information and advice channel. Our blog and social media platforms have been designed to assist your research efforts and help you understand the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist, your orthodontic treatment options, the results you can expect and the journey along the way.
Of course, we can help you find registered orthodontists too with no referral needed! We hope you find this resource helpful and it gives you the confidence to take the next step in achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you’re unsure of where to find a registered orthodontist, check the Find An Orthodontist tool on the ASO website.