It is not uncommon to hear people in California use the term orthodontist and dentist interchangeably. And while it is not always incorrect, it’s not always right either. The best way to think about it is like this – every orthodontist out there is a dentist. However, not all dentists have received training to be an orthodontist.
An orthodontist is a dentist who has chosen to specialize in certain aspects of dental care. Their goal is to diagnose and treat dental irregularities as well as certain facial irregularities. This type of professional will go through the same medical training that a dentist will. Then they will go to additional years of university and get additional clinical experience. Later, they will go through an orthodontics-based residency program.
If you have children, the recommendation is that your children visit the dentist during their first year of life. Your children should visit the dentist before their first tooth shows up. However, in most cases, it is not necessary for a child to visit an orthodontic professional until they have had their seventh birthday. This is around the time when dental and jaw irregularities start to form.
An orthodontist is focused on correcting misalignments of the teeth and jaw. They work on correcting any of the debilitating problems that a misaligned jaw might create. For example, for some people in California with a misaligned jaw, things like speech defects, problems chewing their food, and difficulty keeping their teeth and mouth clean can negatively impact their lives. An orthodontist is going to work with patients to correct these problems.
There are a lot of tools that we have at our disposal that allow us to accomplish this goal. With that being said, one of the most common treatments that our orthodontist will perform is applying braces. Braces are apparatuses that are used to help a person straighten their teeth.
As you can imagine, there are many things that a California orthodontist can do for you. If you are concerned about the health of your teeth, the alignment of your jaw, or other oral health concerns, schedule an appointment at Unique Orthodontics, with offices in Fresno, Buchanan, Old Town Clovis, and Madera. Contact us today to book your appointment!