Your dentist or periodontist may have discussed with you the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw and teeth alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are difficult to clean and look after. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease and eventually cause to tooth loss. Other orthodontic concerns can cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone which supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. These can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain.
Orthodontic or cosmetic dentistry can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics but a more functional occlusion or “bite” is what allows us to have a better chance of keeping our teeth for the rest of our lives. The end of your treatment can be magical once your braces are removed.
Orthodontics is the specialist branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontists are dentists, but less than 10% of dentists are actually orthodontists. An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and jaw irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion”. The practice of orthodontics blends both art and science in conjunction with exquisite skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve harmonious facial balance.
After graduation from dental school, one must successfully complete an additional two to three year residency program of advanced education in orthodontics in a graduate program. Through this comprehensive training, the orthodontist develops the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). By the time an orthodontist becomes licensed by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, he has proven to have the knowledge, expertise and proficiency to provide consistent, quality orthodontic care.
What do all the terms mean? – see our dictionary