About our Specialty

All orthodontists are dentists first.  But to become an orthodontist, they have completed an additional two year residency program to specialize in the study, prevention and correction of irregularities in tooth and jaw relationships and deformities of the face produced by these conditions.  When an orthodontist completes his/her residency, they take a specialty board exam and are licensed as an orthodontist.

Part of that specialty requirement is that they no longer practice general dentistry (even though they are licensed dentists).  This way they can fully devote themselves to being experts in their specialty.  General dentists are allowed by the state board to do braces, but that does not make them orthodontists.  I hear patients all the time say something like, “My dentist is also an orthodontist”.  Well, that can’t be true.  If the person is your dentist, they can’t be your orthodontist because they aren’t an orthodontist.  They are a general dentist doing braces on the side!  If you are unsure, ask!

Orthodontists have traditionally been concerned with the correction of improper tooth alignment and occlusion (bite) primarily by movement of the teeth. In recent years, new techniques and a better understanding of growth and development have given orthodontists the ability to not only move teeth, but to modify poor skeletal and neuromuscular growth patterns. This results in a better bite, a nicer looking smile and a more pleasing facial structure.

Orthodontics are not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.

And remember this — treatment by an orthodontic specialist now is often less costly than the serious problems that can develop years later if dental malocclusions are left untreated!