The use of orthodontic appliances to improve smiles isn’t just for kids and teens anymore. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about one million Americans and Canadians over the age of 18 wear braces or aligners, and the use of adult orthodontics rose 24 percent between 1989 and 2008.
Modern orthodontic solutions requiring shorter treatment times and less visible appliances have continued to increase in popularity among adults who want to achieve more confidence in their personal lives and careers. If not for aesthetics, orthodontics can also help improve oral health and relieve pain and tension in the mouth and jaw.
Not all types of orthodontics are appropriate for every dental case, and not everyone needs a full-fledged orthodontist to get their dream smile. These are good things to keep in mind when choosing a dentist for your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontists are dental specialists—they have completed three additional years of training beyond dental school to become experts in straightening and aligning teeth. The specialty of orthodontics includes diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a variety of dental and facial problems and may include the use of any type of dental appliances to achieve the desired outcome.
Certain types of orthodontics—such as the clear aligners made popular by Invisalign®—allow general dentists who are not full-fledged orthodontists to achieve continuing education and official certification through the manufacturers for the specific use of those products to administer orthodontic treatment.
Your first appointment should focus on fact-finding, education, and planning. You need to have a complete understanding of your current dental condition and all your treatment choices, which should be made clear by the end of the initial consultation.
If you’re an adult in Baltimore who’s interested in orthodontic treatment options, contact us today! We look forward to helping you straighten your smile and discover your confidence.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
*Dr. Erin Wolfson is a general dentist providing orthodontic services.