It seems pretty common knowledge that a dentist and an orthodontist work closely with teeth, but they are somehow different. They both get a lot of the same education, required to become extensively trained in their practice before taking and passing a complicated certification exam. But what are the benefits of seeing an orthodontist?
A certified dentist can diagnose and treat your teeth, gums, tongue, and oral health conditions. Your dentist also oversees your children’s teeth development and growth and oral health. Think of a dentist as the General Practioner of your overall oral treatment.
On the other hand, an orthodontist is more of a specialist in the field of dentistry and is required to receive an additional 2 to 3 years of educational certification before going into practice where they focus on tooth and jaw alignment. Frequently, you will be referred to an orthodontist by your dentist for treatment of issues such as malocclusion, tooth crowding, and palate expansion.
Here at Jennings Orthodontics, Dr. Jennings’s extensive education in the field of orthodontics is topped off with special studies of cleft palate and craniofacial abnormalities. She is detail-oriented and actively studies current research and topics in orthodontics. You’re not just a number at Jennings Orthodontics. Your family will enjoy high-tech treatment in a family atmosphere at our office in Louisville or Mt. Washington.
Why is Orthodontics Important?
The alignment of your teeth and jaws contributes to your overall facial symmetry, which is a factor in your overall oral health and can even affect your general health. Misalignment of your jaws can lead to detrimental wear of your teeth, head and jaw pain, and even cause issues like sleep apnea. Crooked and misaligned teeth can trigger long-term problems from plaque and debris build up in places that are tricky to clean, which can cause cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease like gingivitis.
Often, orthodontic treatment is best used as a preventative treatment as it can correct issues before they become a concern or bother. Orthodontic treatment is also a significant boost of confidence for patients with otherwise good oral health but with teeth that are misaligned just enough to disrupt your smile. And for patients unable to find relief for pain and immobility from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), orthodontics has proven to provide unparalleled treatment and relief.
At Jennings Orthodontics, we recognize that every patient will have unique dental needs, requiring a different level of attention and care. We work hard to ensure all patients receive the best-suited treatment in the most comfortable environment.
Orthodontics is just for kids, though, right?
Your first thought of orthodontic treatment is likely a teenager with a metal-clad mouth. That’s because orthodontic treatment can’t be most effective before puberty when the bones in your mouth and jaw stop growing. It is most common to see adolescents with those metal brackets and wires, but kids aren’t the only ones with misaligned teeth and jaws. Many adults didn’t receive proper oral care, and some adult patients find themselves needing orthodontic treatment as a result of an illness or injury.
Thankfully, modern technology has come a long way in the field of orthodontics, and those clunky metal braces of the past are just that, a thing of the past. Modern metal braces are much lighter, more comfortable, and more effective than ever before. Plus, you can personalize metal braces with colored elastic bands to make the process that much more enjoyable.
Jennings Orthodontics can offer clear braces for those looking for a straight smile without the aesthetic hit. This option replaces the metal brackets with clear or tooth-colored ceramic to help them blend in well with your natural smile while they work the same way metal braces do.
Many adults are interested in orthodontic treatment but don’t like the idea of wearing metal appliances for a year or two and prefer to go with Invisalign. This option is similar to the clear retainer trays often used after traditional braces and makes minor adjustments with each replacement aligner. Since these trays are removable, it makes it easier to eat, drink, and clean your teeth and gums clean since there aren’t any pesky metal pieces to get in the way.
Should I see a dentist or orthodontist?
For most patients already under the care of a dentist they trust, your dentist will likely refer you to an orthodontist when that is the best course of treatment for your unique smile needs. If you do not have a regular dentist or feel self-conscious about a dental alignment issue, contacting an orthodontist yourself is also an acceptable option.
Here at Jennings Orthodontics, we believe that your first visit is your most important one, so we are proud to offer a free consultation to start your journey to a beautiful smile. Dr. Jennings will examine your teeth and jaws; her expert team will take x-rays, gather your oral history, and listen to any concerns you may have, and then Dr. Jennings will discuss everything with you to determine your treatment options.
An aesthetic smile can be just as important as top-notch oral health. You can do everything right in taking care of your oral health and still suffer from poor self-esteem and low self-confidence due to a crooked smile. Jennings Orthodontics wants to help you love your smile and believe it’s always the right time to show off a confident smile.
Trust Jennings Orthodontics for your orthodontic alignment
Dr. Jennings is an expert orthodontist and the current state representative to the Southern Association of Orthodontists. Along with her skilled staff at Jennings Orthodontics in Louisville and Mt. Washington, KY, she takes pride in staying up-to-date on the latest in orthodontic treatment. We know your smile is just the start of someone special and want to make your experience with us a comfortable and enjoyable one. We’re thrilled to help you build your new smile! Give us a call today to schedule your FREE consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable team!