What an Orthodontist does

Most of us dread a visit to the dentist, yet we have to visit him/her once in 6 months for a regular check-up or earlier if an emergency crops up. Very often while referring to the dentist, we hear the term – orthodontist.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, an orthodontist is a fully qualified dentist who can easily treat patients ranging from children to senior citizens. The (AAO) American Association of Orthodontists is the governing body for orthodontics. Orthodontics per say is a field of dentistry that specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating irregularities – both facial as well as dental. If you are looking for a good orthodontist in Switzerland, we are here for you.
orthodontist in zuerich picture
If you have to choose an orthodontist for treatment, make sure that he/she is a member of the AAO. This will ensure that your orthodontist has specialized in his/her field and that you are in safe hands. As per the AAO, kids should ideally be examined by an orthodontist when they are 7 years old, to ascertain that there are no irregularities in the jaw.


What does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist specializes in correcting dental misalignments (jaw and teeth). Dental misalignments can lead to a variety of other problems like speech issues, problems in chewing and also trouble in maintaining proper oral hygiene. Let us look at some of the common issues that can be solved by an orthodontist:

  • Anteroposterior deviations – Most anteroposterior deviations cause a lot of trouble in biting and chewing. The most common problems include under-bite which means that the lower teeth are placed forward as compared to the upper teeth and over-bite which means that the upper teeth are placed forward compared to the lower teeth. Both these anteroposterior deviations result in difficulty in biting.
  • Overcrowding – This is one of the most widely treated problems by orthodontists. If your jaw is small or not properly developed, your teeth cannot come in proper alignment with each other. Your orthodontist will help to re-align your teeth properly using multiple treatments and devices.
  • Aesthetic problems – You are unhappy with your smile? No problem! Your orthodontist can help re-align your entire jaw and give you a completely different, beautiful smile.
    The procedure to re-align your teeth and jaws

As in all medical cases, your orthodontist will first examine your jaws and teeth. He will use x-rays; bite impression models etc. to thoroughly study your jaw alignment. Post that he will recommend the best possible treatment for you.

Let us look at some of the more commonly used treatments:

  • Braces – Braces are usually used to train the teeth to come to proper alignment. Braces usually comprise of brackets that are attached to each tooth separately and a wire that connects each individual bracket. Braces are usually made of metal or ceramics. These days you also get clear braces that are not really visible once fixed.
  • Facemasks and headgears – Your orthodontist will use these devices in addition to the braces, to correct a jaw development issue. Typically these issues could be the under-bite or over-bite. The headgear or facemask (or both) will be designed to fit around your head and will be attached to the braces. While it may sound odd, it actually helps to move the jaw and teeth into proper alignment.
  • Retainers – As the name suggests, retainers are used to ensure that the teeth do not go back into their original position. Retainers are used once the braces, facemask and headgears have done their job and once your braces are off. Retainers need to be worn till the jaw bone has reformed in the proper position.

Next article: 5 things to consider when looking for a competent orthodontist