Do you feel so embarrassed that you can barely smile, just because you have crooked teeth? Well, that's a pretty good reason why you need to see an orthodontist.
Why Not A Dentist?
According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, majority of professionals in the dental work (84%, during 2006) were involved in general practice. Perhaps, you're asking yourself why you can not simply get the problem fixed by a general practitioner (dentist), since there are so much more of them.
To some extent, a dentist also possesses the same basic training, but he / she lacks the advanced training required of a professional who realigns crooked teeth and straightens them to produce a beautiful and healthy smile. This is similar to the distinction between a GP and a specialized eye surgeon.
Of course, your dentist is perfectly capable of handling all manner of general dental work, including tooth extracts, dental check-ups, filling and oral hygiene, as well as cosmetic work including bleaching and veneers. However, he / she will always refer you to a specialist if you need orthodontic treatment.
What Does Orthodontic Treatment Involve?
This is where teeth and jaw alignment issues are diagnosed and treated. It requires a specialist who has undergone further training, beyond that which a dentist may possess. In fact, such a specialist is even more appropriate to undertake this treatment, because he / she would possess the experience of handling thousands of similar cases. This long-term exposure enables more efficient and effective treatment strategies.
If you think that aligning sound sound like a pretty simple job and getting the teeth straight is all there is to it, you're gravely mistaken. Such treatment must ensure that your bite fits together in the right manner; otherwise you'll just end up with further distortion of your dental formula.
A bad bite is sure to cause discomfort and problems when talking and chewing. This can have even more serious implications if there's too much grinding and clenching of your teeth.
Another category of people simply assume that crooked or crowded teeth are nothing to worry about. They may assume that these incidences only affect a person's look, which is not too much of a concern. If you have such a view, you should seriously reconsider your mistaken perception, since misaligned teeth can easily affect your oral health.
When teeth overlap, it's much harder to properly clean in-between them. Therefore, such cases as underbites, overbites and crowded teeth can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss.
Which Skills Does An Orthodontist Have?
Just like the dentist, an orthodontist will go through five years of dentistry training at university level. However, he / she will go even further to pursue specialist three-year training in orthodontics at university level. This gives him / her specialist capacity to effectively diagnose and treat teeth alignment cases using the latest technology, such as invisalign.
Such a specialist also addresses any problems due to misalignment, including tooth wear and headaches. Most importantly, this specialist is always constantly undergoing training in new technological methods for orthodontic treatment. This is especially important, since new scientific developments are guaranteed to improve effectiveness and efficiency of treatment.
You can easily identify a specialist, since he / she would be registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).