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What is an Orthodontist?

Dr Khanna - Orthodontist
Dr Khanna - Orthodontist

So exactly what is an Orthodontist? The word “orthodontist” has its origins in the Greek language and translates literally to “tooth straightener.” Or if you prefer, “awesome oral healthcare provider.” It really boils down to training. Not all dentists are orthodontists but all orthodontists are dentists. An orthodontist is a dentist who has undergone further training and clinical experience to specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion, which is an improper bite due to the teeth or jaws.

Misalignment can be the result of anything from crowding to an underbite. An orthodontist straightens the teeth using braces or corrective appliances.

What Type of Training does an Orthodontist Have?

An orthodontist goes through a ridiculous amount of schooling. In fact, after receiving their bachelor’s degree they continue on for six to seven more years of studies! It breaks down like this: The aforementioned bachelor’s degree, followed by a complete doctorate at dental school, then two to three years of specialty training after graduating from dental school. Post-dental school training includes classroom studies, extensive clinical experience through an orthodontic residency program, and the successful completion of examinations to finally become a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics.

Do I Have to See an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist has the skills and training to straighten teeth with braces and guide jaw and facial growth through dentofacial orthopedics. Visiting an orthodontist early may prevent the need for surgery if your bite problems are due to your jaws. If malocclusion is tooth-related, an orthodontist will straighten them. An orthodontist is an expert at diagnosis and, therefore, knows the root cause of your misalignment and when to use certain treatments for optimal results. The outcome will be a healthy, beautiful smile.