Thanks go to Dr Cashel of David Cashel Dental who sent us this interesting data on American orthodontics. Dr Cashel is a proponent of Invisalign treatment in the Glasgow area so it’s interesting to keep up with what’s happening elsewhere.
Reporting to the American Dental Association, there are anywhere between 100 million and 150 million (or more) Americans that are living with dental pain or other dental issues closely linked to crooked teeth, teeth out of alignment, an irregular bite, or a whole host of other mental health issues that can be cured and corrected with proper orthodontic help.
So you can see why this particular field of dentistry is so incredibly popular these days.
Sure, you’d probably have more than a bit of a challenging time finding too terribly many people out there that are excited at the prospect of meeting with an orthodontist (if only because it usually means they’re going to need to go through some kind of dental procedure), but these are some of the most important dental professionals in the business – responsible for much more than a simple teeth realignment for aesthetics.
To better understand what in orthodontist does and what your orthodontic options are, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the information we have for you in this short guide.
Let’s get to it!
Better Understanding The Field Of Orthodontics
As mentioned above, there are literally 100 million people or more that are dealing with orthodontic issues, issues that far exceed cosmetic problems that most people would like to have solved as quickly as humanly possible.
Yes, orthodontists are usually responsible for implementing teeth realignment solutions like braces (indivisible or traditional, it makes no difference) and a whole host of other dental surgeries and procedures designed specifically to realign and correct teeth alignment for cosmetic reasons – but that’s not all they are responsible for.
No, their main purpose is to give patients teeth realignment solutions that help improve their overall health and well-being.
You see, when your teeth are out of alignment, you’re going to be forced to contend with all kinds of issues. These issues stem from the more mundane (aesthetic appearances) too much more serious issues like chronic migraines, underbite/overbite issues that impact speech pathologies, and a whole host of other issues that can cause a world of hassle and headache for anyone contending with them.
Orthodontic solutions have been around almost since the beginning of dentistry (modern dentistry, anyway), but in the last 20 or 30 years the field has exploded as far as technologically advanced solutions are concerned.
Today, orthodontists are able to prescribed and leverage game changing solutions that allow them to realign teeth much faster and much more efficiently (not to mention almost “invisibly”).
We’ve seen a lot of change happen in this industry in this field of dentistry, and things are only going to continue to accelerate going forward.
Some Of The Orthodontic Options Available Today
The overwhelming majority of all orthodontic options specifically focus on doing one thing and one thing only – realigning teeth just as quickly and as effectively as humanly possible.
There are a significant amount of options out there on the market today, most of them designed with function over form, though this has also changed in the last decade or decade and a half.
It’s impossible to break down exactly which of these orthodontic solutions your particular orthodontist is going to recommend going forward without understanding the specifics of your situation, your dental health, and what you’re trying to achieve, but the odds are still pretty good that they are going to use some of the options we’ve broken down below.
When you’re dealing with an incorrect or misaligned bite (known as a malocclusion), your orthodontist is almost always going to prescribe one of the solutions that we have illustrated below. Almost all malocclusions can be treated with any one of these options, so it’s important to illustrate to your orthodontist exactly what your expectations are ahead of time so that they can find the ideal solution that makes the most sense for you going forward.
Traditional metal braces are tough to beat as far as effectiveness is concerned
There is a real reason why traditional metal braces (which seemingly have been around forever) continue to be recommended for almost all instances of malocclusion, and why they will likely be recommended for these instances for years and years to come.
They flat out work.
Sure, they aren’t exactly the most attractive solution on the planet (and there isn’t anyone that’s excited at the prospect of having braces attached and then going for a bunch of pictures right after), but modern technology and engineering have definitely helped to make them slightly less unappealing and much more comfortable.
Clear Braces Or “Invisible” Braces Are Becoming More Popular
On the other side of the visibility spectrum, clear braces like Invisalign are totally changing the game as far as malocclusion treatment is concerned.
Rather than force anyone to have to deal with “metal mouth” comments, these invisible braces are made out of synthetic solutions specifically crafted for an individual’s set of teeth, and then slowly molded and changed over time to reshape and realign a smile just like metal braces would.
The beautiful thing about these is that they are practically invisible (though a close examination is going to spoil the surprise), but also that they are removable so that you can clean your teeth or eat your favorite foods without having to deal with any headache or hassle that traditional braces bring to the table.
Some argue that Invisalign and other clear braces aren’t as effective or that they don’t offer as speedy a result as traditional braces, but there are a lot of people out there that would definitely trade time spent getting a picture perfect smile if it meant that they never had to have railroad tracks attached to their teeth.
Partial Realignment Solutions
In some unique circumstances (not all that uncommon circumstances), individuals may require a realignment of just one or two teeth rather than a complete and total realignment of every tooth in their head.
This will require a unique orthodontic solution specifically crafted for that particular application, though many of the same or similar technologies mentioned above will likely be taken advantage of.
Often times, these solutions are going to be installed on a removable basis, if only because it’s a lot speedier to realign a couple of teeth as opposed to an entire mouthful. Invisalign is probably an ideal solution in these particular circumstances, though there are other partial orthodontic treatment options that leverage less hardware to get the job done as well.
Orthodontists are also regularly called on to perform orthodontic surgeries, provided that they have the necessary qualifications, education, and equipment on hand.
These surgeries almost always involve preparing for installing dental implants, working with cosmetic dentistry teams to realign dental implants that have already been installed, or work with professionals involved in periodontics to create more effective solutions.
If you need to take advantage of orthodontic surgical solutions, you’re going to want to make sure that you are always moving forward with a dental professional that you trust completely, one that has an established track record for success, and one that completely understands your expectations and is ready, willing, and excited to do anything and everything they can to help you out.
Finding a Professional Orthodontist
If you’ve been struggling a bit to find the right orthodontist in your area, hopefully these tips and tricks will give you a bit of a boost.
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is establish that an orthodontist in your local area is your best bet. In some areas, even the best local orthodontist isn’t exactly going to be an ideal option, which is why you should (at least consider) running your search to include other areas – at least if you’re serious about getting the right work done the first time without any complications of their short or long term).
Secondly, you’ll want to fire up the Internet and do a search for orthodontists in your area or the areas that you’re willing to travel to, looking specifically for case studies and testimonials from real clients that detail their experience in full.
This is the kind of insider information that you wouldn’t have had access to previously, the kind of insider information that will let you know whether or not you should be working with a profession orthodontist or running just as far and as fast away from them as humanly possible.
Finally, you’ll want to set up an initial consultation and interview where you are an active participant. Really grill them on their past, their education (foundational as well as continuing), and the results that they have reduced for other people in similar situations to your own.
Then, if you feel comfortable with these professionals, you’ll want to create a timeline of the orthodontic process that they will establish for you before you decide to give this kind of work the green light.
Hopefully now you understand a little bit more about your orthodontic options as well as how to find the right professionals to help you out!