Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry focused on diagnosing, treating, and preventing malocclusions (irregular bites). Malocclusions occur when the teeth and jaw do not line up properly. This can cause difficulty in biting, chewing, talking, and even smiling. Malocclusions can be classified as one or more of the following: overbites, underbites, crossbites, openbites, crooked teeth, buck teeth, and crowded teeth. The most common correction methods are braces and dental appliances such as expanders, space maintainers, or headgear. Dental irregularities can be amended by means of such appliances with the help of an orthodontist.
Just as you entrust your heart to a cardiologist and your eyes to an ophthalmologist, you entrust your teeth and jaw to an orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in correcting malocclusions to maximize oral hygiene and functionality. An orthodontist first attends dental school, then spends two or more years taking advanced orthodontic courses. This specialization ensures that orthodontists gain a thorough understanding of the mouth’s biologic systems so that they may offer optimal treatment.
In a nutshell, orthodontics provides methods for aligning the teeth and jaw. Straight teeth along with a properly positioned jaw allow for most advantageous dental care, effortless chewing, and a smile that compliments the face. Dr. Fowler believes that orthodontic care is vital to anyone who desires to prolong their dental health.