Dr. Sal Says - Everything you need to know about getting braces

What Is an Orthodontist, and When Is a Visit to the Orthodontist Right for You?

Posted by Dr. Sal on 5/21/14 1:36 PM

What Is an OrthodontistYour family dentist can handle many of your oral health care needs. This makes things simple for you, the patient, when you are scheduling appointments, handling paperwork and dealing with payments. However, sometimes your dentist may not be able to handle all of your needs, or you may wish to seek the services of an orthodontist for more specialized care. If you are wondering just what is an orthodontist or when you should make an appointment with your regular dentist versus contact an orthodontist, the following information will help.

 What Is an Orthodontist? 

An orthodontist is a doctor who has not only completed dental school, but has also gone on to complete an additional two to three years of residency training in the oral healthcare field. Your orthodontist has extensive education on how to treat the misalignment of teeth and jaws and many tools at his or her disposal to realign your mouth the way it should be. These tools include braces, retainers and other technology that can help you not only achieve a perfect, beautiful smile, but also reduce pain and stress on your teeth and jaws.  

How Do I Know When to Visit an Orthodontist? 

One of the most common ways to determine whether you need to see an orthodontist is a recommendation from your dentist. When dentists have determined that a patient’s jaw or teeth is beyond the scope of their practice, they will refer their patients to a trusted orthodontist. 

You can also choose to make an appointment to see an orthodontist without a dentist referral. If your teeth are not as straight as you'd like them to be, if you have pain in your teeth or jaw, or if you just have questions about your smile or how to make improvements to your smile, you should schedule an appointment with your local orthodontist to see what your options are. 

What Can I Expect at My Visit to the Orthodontist? 

Wondering “what is an orthodontist going to do to my teeth?" can make some patients hesitant to call an orthodontist. There is no need to worry; the first visit to the orthodontist is basically a chance for you both to get acquainted. At your initial visit, your orthodontist will make a complete evaluation of your mouth, and help you determine what your goals are with regard to improving your smile or your oral health. Your orthodontist will then create a treatment plan just for you, along with cost estimates. If you determine that you would like to go ahead with treatment, your orthodontist's staff will then set you up with a follow-up appointment to start treatment. 

Feeling unsure about exactly what is an orthodontist and what will happen next could cause patients that are great candidates for treatment to avoid making an initial appointment. They may also assume that they are too old or that the cost will be too high. However, these concerns are set aside once a patient learns more about orthodontia and understands just what is an orthodontist and how can they help me to get straight teeth.    

If you’re interested in learning more about how an orthodontist can help you obtain the beautiful and healthy smile you deserve, we’ll help you understand your options and feel at ease about orthodontia. Call one of our local offices to set up an initial consultation today.


Topics: orthodontics, braces


Dr. Sal Says

Dr. Salvatoriello brings healthy, beautiful smiles to New Hampshire and Vermont. For nearly 40 years, adults and children have relied on Dr. Sal for compassionate care using the latest techniques. This blog allows us to share Dr. Sal's expertise with everyone, not just his patients.

Find out everything you need to know about healthy smiles and how orthodontic treatment can help, then schedule your initial appointment to become one of "Dr. Sals' Pals."

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