Orthodontics is a specialised area of dentistry, dealing with management and correction of abnormal and irregular teeth, jaws and face. It is therefore a specialty that improves facial appearance and creates great smiles.
Orthodontics is just one of the 7 different dental specialties practiced, but only a fully qualified dentist is permitted to undertake the extra study required to become a specialist.
Orthodontists are the most qualified people to diagnose, prevent and treat any problems you might have with your tooth and jaw alignment, and bite problems like overbites and under bites, because they have spent an extra 3 years in school learning about them!
In Australia, an orthodontist must:
- Complete a five-year, full-time Bachelor degree in Dentistry.
- Complete a three-year, full-time specialist degree in Orthodontics. Called a Doctor of Clinical Dentistry
- Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by a State Dental Board.
Just as you would not expect your local GP to deliver your baby, or visit an obstetrician when you have a cold – your orthodontist does not practice general dentistry, so that is why you still need to see your dentist while you have orthodontics, and your general dentist will tell you to see an orthodontist if they identify potential problems.