Most of the time, we’d go to dental clinics to have our teeth checked by a dentist. But how do we know if it’s time to visit an orthodontist? What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist, and how should I know if I should visit an orthodontist instead of a dentist?
Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist
Like a general doctor, a dentist can be classified as a general dentistry practitioner. A dentist provides various dental services, including fillings, extractions, cleanings, and treatment for various gum diseases. On the other hand, an orthodontist is a dentist with further schooling and training that qualifies them to perform specialized treatments regarding the alignment of teeth and jaws. If you have concerns about the alignment of your teeth or jaws or you’re experiencing any discomfort in your mouth, it’s recommended that you visit an orthodontist.
In a nutshell, a dentist is a general practitioner, while an orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in correcting bites, straightness of the teeth, and occlusion.
Reasons to See an Orthodontist
The main reason people see an orthodontist is to correct facial and dental irregularities related to the alignment of the teeth and jaws. These include the following: an open bite, crossbite, underbite, overbite, crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and other malocclusions. While seeing an orthodontist may not be required for some of the issues mentioned earlier, it is crucial to make an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as you encounter the following problems:
You feel pain in your teeth, gums, or mouth.
If you’re experiencing pain or soreness in your mouth, teeth, or gums, it may be due to misalignment or other underlying issues. An orthodontist can diagnose the cause of your discomfort and provide treatment to alleviate it, ensuring your oral health is improved and free from pain.
You have trouble breathing or have sleep apnea.
Blocked airways due to a narrow jaw can cause sleep apnea or breathing problems, leading to mouth breathing, sore, dry throat, and loud snoring. Orthodontic treatment can be a viable solution to such issues by correcting the alignment of teeth and widening the jaw, allowing air to pass through the airways easily. This treatment has been proven effective in improving sleep apnea and other breathing problems, relieving discomfort, and enhancing the quality of life.
You find it hard to articulate your words.
Your ability to speak properly may be related to your teeth, as issues with teeth alignment can cause speech problems. A noticeable lisp or whistle when speaking may be due to an overbite or gaps in teeth, while difficulty pronouncing certain sounds such as ‘t’, ‘ch’, and ‘s’ could be due to teeth placement. It may be related to jaw structure or teeth placement if you struggle with slurring or stuttering. An orthodontist can help improve teeth alignment, allowing for better articulation and pronunciation.
You find it difficult to chew.
Properly aligned teeth are necessary for effective chewing. Misaligned teeth can lead to problems such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites, making chewing difficult and painful. Orthodontic treatment can correct these issues, allowing for proper teeth alignment and pain-free chewing to enjoy food easily.
You don’t feel confident when smiling.
If you’re unsatisfied with your smile due to crooked, gapped, or uneven teeth, it can affect your confidence and make you feel embarrassed. Orthodontic treatment can transform your smile, boosting your confidence and allowing you to proudly show off your teeth without feeling self-conscious. Whether for personal reasons or professional goals, you deserve to have a smile that you’re confident in.
Consult an Orthodontist Today
If you believe you have the symptoms above, it is best to consult an orthodontist near you. If you are looking for an orthodontist in Washington DC, you may book an appointment with Kumra Orthodontics.
Kumra Orthodontics is the perfect place to start your journey toward a beautiful and healthy smile. Their friendly and experienced team truly cares about each and every patient and goes above and beyond to make sure that you feel comfortable and confident.
Whether you’re looking to straighten your teeth, improve your bite, or simply enhance your smile, Kumra Orthodontics has the expertise and experience to help you achieve your goals. Schedule your consultation today and start your journey toward a beautiful and healthy smile!
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