Often, it is a person’s or family’s general dentist that will recommend a patient be seen by an orthodontist. There are millions of teens with defective smiles and malocclusions that utilize braces in America, but ideally, these teens will have seen an orthodontist for a consultation by age seven, and any advance treatment will have been mitigated by procedures instituted at this early point. However, now the number of adults seeking this type of dental care is growing annually at its fastest pace in decades. The individual needs of a particular patient determines if this type of treatment is necessary, but the American Association of Orthodontics prefer patients be seen by the age of seven because it is at this age that either treatment is most successful, or the correct preventative protocol can be instituted in the hopes of preventing any future treatment.

Dr. Kami Hoss explains how both forms, the goal of orthodontia is to give people the benefit of good oral health for the longest amount of time possible, and to provide this care with the least amount of traumatic intervention as is necessary. Types of orthodontic intervention include devices like braces and other bite-correcting devices, or procedures like oral surgery of which orthodontists are qualified to perform unlike general dentists. This is why general dentists refer patients to orthodontists. Orthodontists are dentists, but with a decade and sometimes more in the type of education that qualifies them to perform advance procedures like oral and facial surgeries. However, orthodontics are best known for braces, and irrespective of the abuse that braces take in popular culture, they are overwhelmingly effective, and this fuels their use by orthodontists, and maybe over most other types of dental correction devices.

Additionally, the aesthetic properties of braces or the lack thereof has been addressed in many ways with modern braces even being featured in a popular invisible style of braces that is a very popular choice for all ages, but especially for adults. The many benefits of a beautiful smile are well lauded, and many of these reasons in orthodontics are for oral health versus appearance, but appearance is a very beneficial side-effect of good oral health. This is why braces are good for most people, but this journey begins with a referral to an orthodontist. The initial visit with this physician is designed to assess the current oral health, and facial structure, but this is not done invasively. This initial visit is often typically performed on a visual level. After detailing the appropriate strategies in this visit, the actual direction will be done after subsequent visits including those that make assessments in more invasive ways like x-rays, photographic imaging and dental imaging of other technologically advanced methods.


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