What to look for in an orthodontist
KEEP THIS IN MIND: Orthodontic treatment is EITHER tooth alignment, OR it is tooth alignment and bite correction.
There is a distinct difference, not only in the goals of treatment, but in almost every aspect of practice. Tooth alignment is cosmetic only; bite correction brings health care into the picture.Virtually all authorities on bite correction stress the critical relationship between teeth and jaw joints. For example, Dr. Peter Dawson says, “it is impossible to understand occlusion (bite correction) without an understanding of how the position and condition of the TMJs affects the occlusion.” (see www.dawsoncenter.com).
Attractive smiles are certainly important, but the smile probably won’t last without bite correction. Many long term problems of decline and degeneration in the chewing system can be avoided if the bite relationship is corrected during orthodontics.
We treat many patients (usually adults) who had to have orthodontic treatment a second or third time to correct the bite. Often these situations could have been avoided had the first round of orthodontic treatment provided more than tooth alignment. Most orthodontic schools don’t have a strong curriculum in bite correction. Orthodontists interested in correcting the bite must learn the skills and techniques after graduation.
Even if an attractive smile is your only desire, a bite correction orthodontist can design a treatment plan for you that will achieve the smile while providing post treatment retainers that help protect the long term health of your chewing system.