An orthodontist works in a specialized field of dentistry that is concerned with fixing improper bites, also known as malocclusions. Overbites or underbites are corrected through orthodontia, which can involve a variety of different procedures and appliances. Orthodontist will X-ray the teeth and make molds of them to study the way the teeth are growing. Based on their findings, the orthodontist will then recommend the correct course for treatment. Not treating teeth misalignment can result in difficulties chewing and can even lead to speech impairments.
Orthodontists receive more training than dentists and the orthodontics programs they must complete can be very difficult and competitive. To become an orthodontist in the United States requires the completion of an orthodontics program that has been approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Dentists who have earned their DDS, DMD or BDS degrees can then go on to enroll in an accredited program. This program typically lasts between two and three years. After completion candidates must then pass a written examination given by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO).
An orthodontist may recommend that you wear braces if you have an overbite, an underbite, or your teeth are coming in crooked or are at risk of overcrowding. Rubber bands or retainers may also be recommend as a part of the process to realign the teeth. Headgear or rubber bands (sometimes called elastics) may also be used as a part of the realignment process.
Many people will have to make a visit to the orthodontist in their lifetimes. It is better to address misaligned teeth when you are younger, even though kids dread wearing braces. Some young people find wearing wire braces to be embarrassing, but advances in technology over the years has seen the introduction of clear or invisible braces as well has braces that can be removed for eating and cleaning.