What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Orthodontist Grand Rapids MI

An orthodontist is a type of dentist with additional training in correcting misaligned teeth, bite issues, and jaw irregularities. In other words, those in this profession, like our Grand Rapids orthodontists, are responsible for helping children, teens, and adults achieve their best smile.

Here’s what you need to know about orthodontistsand who benefits most from their treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontists Include:

1. Why Do People Seek Orthodontic Treatment?

Many parents seek orthodontic treatment for their children when it’s obvious that teeth are coming in crooked. Correcting the smile can help improve self-esteem and eliminate discomfort while chewing. On the other hand, uncorrected bites can potentially lead to improper wear patterns of the teeth, causing dental discomfort.

Even if the teeth don’t interfere with the ability to eat or speak, many people appreciate having an aesthetically pleasing smile. When you meet people for the first time, they often base their first impressions off of your smile. People with crooked or crowded teethoften face stigma from people who make snap judgments.

2. Who Do Orthodontists Treat?

While the majority of orthodontic patients are children or teens, adult orthodontic treatment is possible as well. The reason why children are more prevalent in the orthodontist’s office is because it is easier to move teeth into proper alignment when their mouth is still developing.

While adults can still receive orthodontic intervention, the treatment process might be more involved or take slightly longer. Our orthodontists will also have to consider age-related issues that don’t apply to children, such as marginal bone loss.

3. How Do Orthodontists Plan Treatment?

A knowledgeable orthodontist examines teeth and jaws to determine what needs to be corrected to give the patient the best smile possible. While planning treatment, an orthodontist may take X-rays or impressions of your teeth so that they can get a better picture of how your teeth are misaligned.

With this information, the orthodontist creates a feasible plan and explains it in a way that’s easy to understand for their patients. The timeline for each patient varies but on average, most individuals wear braces for 1-3 years.

4. How Do Orthodontists Treat Their Patients?

Patients are fitted with either metal or ceramic braces, depending on the patient’s preference and the level of treatment needed. The braces are designed to exert enough pressure on your teeth to gradually move them into optimal alignment over time. During each appointment, our orthodontists will make slight adjustments so that your teeth shift according to plan.

If you’ve expressed a desire to have your orthodontic treatment be more discreet, our orthodontists also offer Invisalign® clear aligners. Aligners are worn 20-22 hours a day and most patients see desired results in 12-18 months.

Our orthodontists may also decide that orthodontic appliances are necessary. For example, orthodontic headgearis used to correct overbites or underbites. After your bite is corrected, the braces are removed and you will have to wear a retainer at night to prevent teeth from reverting to their original position.

5. What Other Dental Issues Do Orthodontists Treat?

In addition to correcting crooked teeth, orthodontists also help people with jaw pain, sleep apnea, or gum disease. Many people also seek orthodontic services if they are finding it difficult to enunciate words or chew food without dental discomfort.

Get Started on Your Smile Today

If you are interested in orthodontic treatment services from our orthodontists in Grand Rapids and Grandville, MI, please call Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics at (616) 455-4800 today for a free consultation.

This blog post has been updated.

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