In most cases, you have probably either had braces, need braces, or know someone with braces. When you need orthodontic treatment, you often receive a great deal of information. Having a basic knowledge about the world of orthodontics will help you make educated decisions for yourself or a loved one.
What is orthodontics?
Simply put, orthodontics is the dental specialty focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental or facial irregularities.
How is an orthodontist different from a dentist?
While all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. In addition to successfully completing dental school, orthodontists must also take another two to three years of advanced training.
Can I tell if braces are needed?
The best way to determine if you or a family member should seek orthodontic treatment is through an evaluation with an orthodontist. If you notice buck teeth, an overbite, under bite, or open bite, orthodontic treatment is a likely course of action.
What’s the difference between Phase I and Phase II?
With Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, patients are between 6 and 10 years old, and all their permanent teeth have not yet erupted. Certain problems are easier to treat when children are younger and they are still growing. Also called comprehensive treatment, Phase II happens once all permanent teeth come in and usually involves a full set of braces.
What are my treatment options?
That answer depends on your age and your specific case. Typically, younger children respond well to traditional metal braces. Older teens and adult patients often like less conspicuous choices. Ceramic brackets, clear aligners like Invisalign, and lingual braces can straighten your smile and allow you to maintain a professional image.