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Math, Analogies and Orthodontia!
Who would have thought that a square is to a rectangle as an orthodontist is to a dentist? As we all learned in high-school math class, squares are special kinds of rectangles. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. The same relationship can be seen between orthodontia and dentistry. All orthodontists are dentists, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. In fact, here’s a bit more math for you: only five percent of dentists are orthodontists!
What is Orthodontia?
Orthodontics is a special branch of dentistry that deals specifically with malpositioned teeth and misaligned jaws. Common orthodontic teeth problems include crowded teeth, teeth spaced too widely apart, and protruding teeth. When the upper and lower jaw are not in alignment, an abnormal bite results. Having an abnormal bite makes it really difficult to chew food and eat properly. There are several kinds of bites that need to be corrected. Examples of an improper bite include overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite
What Are Orthodontic Appliances?
Orthodontic appliances, such as traditional metal braces, can be used to straighten crooked teeth. More discreet options like ceramic braces or invisalign are now available. In order to offer invisalign, an orthodontic practice must have completed special certification.
In cases of jaw misalignment, functional appliances can be used to redirect jaw growth appropriately. The list of functional appliances used in orthodontics to correctly align jaws is extensive. They are categorized as either fixed or removable appliances.
Which Option is Best?
For moderate to severe malocclusions, you will need wire or ceramic braces that are attached to your teeth and remain in place for an average of two to four years. The brackets and wires of traditional braces are designed to apply pressure against the teeth to shift teeth into the correct positions. If you require traditional braces, then you will visit an orthodontist on a regular basis to have the wires adjusted. You might need to schedule an emergency visit with an orthodontist when a wire or bracket breaks. Teenagers and adults with mild malocclusions are candidates for clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth and are easy to remove. To learn more about orthodontic braces, schedule an appointment today.
Orthodontic Fact #3 Here’s a fun fact: All orthodontists are dentists, but only 5 percent of dentists are orthodontists. Confusing, isn’t it?
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Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.