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If you have ever heard someone mention going to an orthodontist and wondered what the difference between this kind of professional and a dentist, you are not alone. When people talk about teeth, it is common to hear about both of these professions, and many people do not know the difference. In a nutshell, an orthodontist specializes in diagnosing and treating tooth and jaw misalignment.
While this kind of specialist undoubtedly receives an education in dentistry, their training focuses specifically on setting teeth correctly. On the other hand, a general dentist provides a more comprehensive but basic set of dental services.
In other words, if you ever find yourself in need of the following procedures, you will need to Google "Who is the best orthodontist near me?" instead of just looking for any dentist.
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If you are struggling with misaligned teeth, one of the most popular solutions still remains traditional braces. Used for many years, this procedure involves attaching metal brackets and wires to teeth in order to pull them into a correct position. While many adults do invest in braces, this is the most common orthodontic procedure for children.
For those who do not want to have visible metal attached to their teeth, lingual braces offer an alternative. With this style of braces, an orthodontist will place brackets on the backside of your teeth. This will prevent others from seeing them.
If you want to avoid braces altogether, Invisalign offers another option that uses replaceable plastic aligner trays that act as a retainer. With this solution, you will need to change the trays every couple of weeks as they adjust to the changing shape of your mouth.
If you have already had tooth realignment work done, it is likely you will need a retainer to help you maintain your new smile. These are removable appliances that you will need to wear whenever your orthodontist suggests, but they may be lower maintenance. For example, some people only have to wear them at night.
For many people who turn to traditional braces, orthodontic elastics are an add-on solution. By attaching these rubber bands to the metal brackets of your braces, an orthodontist can pull your jaw further forward or backward. This can improve both tooth alignment as well as your bite.
Next time you hear someone talking about going to his or her orthodontist, you will have a better idea of who that is, and if you ever find yourself in need of one of these procedures, now you will know who to look for.
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