Curious about braces or the latest teeth-straightening methods, like Invisalign? If so, an orthodontist can help!
If you’re new to orthodontics, it may help to educate yourself on the basic orthodontist definition, as well as a quick background on what these specialists do, what kinds of care they provide, and the qualifications they must receive to enter the profession. We created this page as general guide to understanding the work of orthodontics and how it can help you get a bright, healthy smile!
A basic orthodontist definition goes something like this: a dental professional who specializes in the correction and prevention of irregularities of the teeth. Or, as the American Association of Orthodontists, puts it: “a specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws.”
You probably already think of these professionals as simply the doctors who put braces on your teeth. But through the precise process of diagnosing your teeth and jaw, orthodontists correct a wide variety of common, potentially very serious problems in the mouth, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, crowding and spacing.
These issues are not just a matter of appearance or how you look when you smile. They affect how you speak, bite and chew – some of the most important things you do, all day, every day.
Orthodontists are educated beyond the general requirements of traditional dentists, giving them the expertise to understand how your teeth, jaw and facial muscles all work together for proper speech and eating. In fact, it can take 10 or more years of education after high school for someone to become an orthodontist. First, they must obtain a traditional college degree. Then, they attend dental school to lay the foundation for their career in dentistry. And finally, they must be accepted into an accredited orthodontic residency program, completing an additional two years (at minimum) of academic study.
Orthodontists use an array of different devices and tools to treat problems with teeth alignment, including traditional metal-style braces and brackets, clear aligner trays like Invisalign (the “invisible braces”) and other retainers, all of which are designed to move teeth or hold them in their correct place. Every patient’s needs are different, which is why these specialists are trained to identify the best solutions for each person’s unique situation.
At FUNtastic Dental and Orthodontics in Long Beach, California, our orthodontist definition includes the same key points that the American Association of Orthodontists uses, but with a few additional characteristics that are very important to us:
The FUNtastic orthodontist definition describes our professionals as those who:
To learn more about what makes FUNtastic different from other orthodontists’ and dentists’ offices, call us at 562-627-8800.