There are more than 10,000 orthodontists in the United States. Each one of these dental professionals has hundreds of hours of education and expertise. And, they know more about your teeth than the average dentist.
But, what is an orthodontist? They’re highly skilled and renowned, but why is that?
If you’re wondering what the “orthodontist” meaning is and what the differences are between an orthodontist vs a dentist, keep reading. We have everything you need to know about these professionals.
We’ll even explain when you should see one.
What Is an Orthodontist and How Can They Help?
You likely already know that an orthodontist is a very skilled dental professional. But, it’s more than that.
Orthodontists know how to prevent, diagnose, and treat a plethora of dental and facial irregularities. They can handle a big variety of serious dental complaints and conditions.
Becoming an Orthodontist
Orthodontists undergo a lot of schooling. They have to get their high school diploma, complete four years of undergraduate studies, finish a five-year dental studies program, and then enter into a specialty program.
This specialty program requires participants to complete 5,000 hours of study before they can officially become a specialist in orthodontics. To be clear, 5,000 hours of study is equivalent to three years of full-time schooling.
Overall, that’s about 12 years of schooling after high school. With all of this education and experience, you can be confident that any orthodontist that you see knows what he/she is doing.
What Are the Differences Between an Orthodontist vs a Dentist?
Orthodontists and dentists have similar jobs. So, it’s not surprising that so many people get these two dental professionals mixed up.
However, it’s still important to differentiate between them. This is especially true when you’re trying to find the right dental professional to care for your dental health.
First, let’s differentiate the responsibilities of these two professionals.
Dentists cover a wide range of oral health issues, including regular oral health maintenance. Most people who are getting their teeth checked regularly are seeing a dentist.
On the other hand, orthodontists focus on a more specialized group of cases like crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. They are still able to handle a wide variety of cases, but they tend to focus more on specialized conditions.
In fact, some orthodontists will only perform a select number of procedures. Cases outside of those conditions
Overall, this tells us that dentists are generalists while orthodontists are specialists.
When to See an Orthodontist vs When to See a Dentist
If you’re dealing with an everyday dental problem or wanting to get a checkup, you should see a dentist. However, if you’re dealing with a more structural problem like the arrangement of your teeth or jaw, you should see an orthodontist.
If you’re still unsure which specialist to see, you may want to start by asking your regular dentist. He/She can help you determine whether you need a regular dentist appointment or a referral to an orthodontist.
What Are the Differences Between an Orthodontist vs an Endodontist?
As you know, orthodontists focus on disorders of the teeth and jaw. They are more specialized than dentists.
What you may not know is endodontists are even more specialized.
Endodontists focus on the malleable inner lining of the teeth. This lining is called the pulp.
Thus, endodontists can perform procedures like root canals that can help treat problems with this area of the mouth.
What Treatments Do Orthodontists Offer?
An orthodontist can help both children and adults figure out the best treatments for their dental conditions. If you have malaligned teeth, they’ll help you figure out how to help this. If you have TMJ, they’ll discuss treatments with you.
An orthodontist is there to help you navigate more complex conditions. And, they can offer a variety of treatments:
- Fixed plates
- Removeable plates
- Ceramic braces
- Clear aligners
- Invisible braces
The treatment that your orthodontist chooses for you will depend on your current condition and its severity. You shouldn’t guess the treatment prior to speaking with the dental professional.
How Will I Know When I Need to See an Orthodontist?
Your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist if he/she feels that you need more advanced care. So, the next time you’re at your dental checkup, your dentist should let you know if you need more advanced help.
However, if you feel that you should see an orthodontist, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.
Maybe you struggle with crowded teeth, but your dentist hasn’t said anything because they’re still within the normal bite. In this case, you may want to ask your dentist for a referral to an orthodontist. The visit may not be required for your dental health, but it’s still important to you.
We should note that – in most cases – you don’t need a referral to see an orthodontist. But, most professionals prefer that you see a dentist before making the leap to an orthodontic specialist.
The dentist may be able to help you. So, you should give them a shot before you default to a specialist.
Plus, the dentist that you’re seeing may be able to give you a great recommendation for an orthodontist in your area. Having that provider-provider relationship can be beneficial for the patient. So, ask your dentist for someone that they know and trust so that you know you’re getting a great provider.
If you opt to choose your own orthodontist, you should make sure that you understand how to choose the best orthodontist for your care.
Where Can I Go to See an Orthodontist?
Orthodontic professionals are everywhere. Remember, there are more than 10,000 of them in the United States alone.
However, if you’re looking for an orthodontist near Charlotte, North Carolina, we have you covered. Our team at Keorich & Case Orthodontics provides a wide variety of services to our patients. And, we love helping all of our patients achieve their goals for their dental health.
If you’re looking for an orthodontist who’s going to help you beat malaligned teeth and crooked jaws, we’re here for you.
After all, what is an orthodontist? Well, we’re just dental professionals who care.
Schedule an appointment today.
When most people think of braces, a teenager with braces on their teeth likely comes to mind. However, about 25% of people in the United States actually wear braces. Dental technology continues to evolve and braces are no exception, such as the case of clear braces. But what are they and what are the benefits of getting them?
If you’re thinking about correcting and improving your smile, keep reading on to discover more about clear braces.
What Are Clear Braces?
When you think of clear braces, you might be thinking of Invisalign or clear aligners. However, those braces are aligners that come in sets and vary greatly from clear braces.
They are made of ceramic called polycrystalline alumina or sometimes porcelain. These braces are clear brackets, except for the wiring which is usually metal. However, in some orthodontist offices, you can get a lighter-colored wire if it’s offered.
They are different from Invisalign and other clear aligners because they work like traditional metal braces. They’re bonded to your teeth and connected with a wire used to shift your teeth. Unlike aligners, they’re not removable until your treatment is complete.
Clear Braces vs Metal Braces
Clear braces and metal braces are very similar in functionality but different in appearance.
Since clear bracket braces are made of clear materials, they blend in well against your teeth. This is especially important for adults who want a more discreet treatment and for teenagers who are self-conscious about dental work.
At your dental check-ups, the orthodontist will adjust your braces and wires similar to metal braces. Sometimes the adhesives that bond to metal braces can be more damaging to your enamel, but the adhesive used to attach ceramic braces is more gentle.
Ceramic braces may also be more comfortable than metal braces. While metal braces have their place in dental treatments, they can rub up against the inside of your cheek causing some discomfort. While clear braces can touch the inside of your cheeks, they’re usually more comfortable and tolerable.
Important Things to Know
Straightening your smile is not just about improving the appearance of your teeth. In many cases, straight teeth allow you to have healthier teeth because they’re easier to clean and not subject to decay or cavities.
Getting a healthier smile is achievable, but there are some things you need to know.
One of the main reasons people choose clear ceramic braces is because they’re less noticeable than metal braces. This is important for adults who work in professional settings and wish to not draw attention to their braces.
Even with the discreetness, there’s a possibility that they may be subject to discoloration. This is due to dark liquids like wine, coffee, or tea. However, if you find an orthodontist that specializes in clear braces, make sure to get high-quality materials because they’re less likely to stain.
Taking care of your teeth and braces by eating healthy foods and brushing and flossing will also combat any discoloration. If you are going to have dark liquids, drink through a straw to lessen your chances of discoloration.
If you have children who want clear braces and don’t want discoloration, you’ll need to help them responsibly clean and care for their teeth regularly. If your child has trouble maintaining their oral routine, perhaps metal braces would be a better fit.
Clear braces are strong, but they occasionally are prone to breakage. To avoid any broken brackets, you’ll want to avoid an abundance of crunchy foods and be gentle when you’re cleaning your teeth. If you do break a bracket, be sure to contact your orthodontist immediately.
Your orthodontist will also give you instructions about how best to care for your clear braces so you can do your part to avoid breaking any.
What Do They Cost?
They have many advantages, with less noticeability being the most important. But what about the cost? Are they affordable?
The cost of is almost always slightly more expensive than metal braces. This is because the materials used are of higher quality and metal is so widely used.
However, this doesn’t mean that they are not affordable. If you have insurance, particularly orthodontal insurance, you can contact your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost and what your options are. In many cases, orthodontic offices will work out payment plans for you so you can afford the treatment you want.
Another factor that’s important to remember is that everyone’s timeframe of treatment is different. While one patient may have braces for 18 months, another patient’s treatment might last longer. The length of time the patient has their braces will impact the cost as well.
Can Anyone Get Clear Braces?
Generally speaking, anyone can get clear braces if they choose. However, in some severe cases, metal braces or other treatments might be a better option to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Remember that even if you cannot get clear braces, your orthodontist has your best interest in mind and will help you choose the treatment plan that works best for you.
Are They for You?
Clear braces offer a wide variety of benefits to help you get a straighter smile and healthy teeth. If you’re thinking about getting braces for you or your child, contact your dentist to see if they are a good fit for you!
Are you looking for an orthodontist in South Charlotte? We’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.
About 30% of Americans notice someone’s teeth before any other aspect of their face. Another 73% are more likely to trust someone with a nice smile. Meanwhile, about 57% of Americans would rather have a nice smile than clear skin.
With Charlotte orthodontics, you can straighten your teeth for a stunning smile. Improving the appearance of your smile can give your confidence a boost.
It could improve your overall oral health, too.
What exactly are the benefits of finding an orthodontist in South Charlotte? Keep reading to find out! In this guide, we’ll review the nine benefits you can experience by seeking orthodontic treatment.
Make a better choice for your smile. Read on to learn more!
1. Reduced Risk of Tooth Decay
Brushing and flossing every day can remove food particles from between your teeth. If your teeth are crooked, plaque has more space where it can hideaway. Over time, plaque can form into tartar.
You’ll need a dentist to clean the tartar away. Otherwise, plaque and tartar can release acid. You could develop tooth decay as a result.
In addition to experiencing pain, your chances of tooth loss could increase as well.
Straightening your teeth with Koerich and Case Orthodontics can reduce your risk of tooth decay. You’ll have an easier time brushing and flossing, too.
Then, you can make sure food particles never get trapped between your teeth. You can straighten your smile and improve your oral health.
2. Healthier Gums
If you let plaque cling to your teeth, inflammation can occur. Inflammation can infect your gums over time. You might develop gingivitis as a result.
Gingivitis can cause bleeding, red, swollen gums. Your gums might recede away from your teeth as well. You could lose your teeth as a result.
When left without treatment, gingivitis can become periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease. Your chances of losing your teeth could increase as well.
Gum disease could increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, too.
Choosing Charlotte orthodontics can reduce your risk of gum disease. You can straighten your teeth, reduce plaque build-up, and avoid gingivitis altogether.
3. Eliminate Tooth Grinding
When your teeth are crooked, they won’t rest correctly. A misalignment could cause uneven wear against your tooth enamel. Your enamel protects your teeth from decay and other issues.
You might start grinding down on your teeth. Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding can cause:
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Sleep disruption
- Jaw, neck, or face pain and soreness
- Dull headaches
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your teeth
- Teeth that are fractured, chipped, flattened, or loose
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
Straightening your teeth with Invisalign or braces could reduce your risk of bruxism. You can talk to your orthodontist to determine whether Invisalign vs braces is right for you.
4. Easier Chewing
When your teeth are crooked, it can impact your ability to speak and chew. For example, you might develop a lisp. If you’re struggling to chew, you might not get a balanced diet.
Your body could lack the essential vitamins and minerals it needs as a result.
Straightening your teeth can make it easier for you to chew. You could improve your overall health by maintaining a healthy diet. Otherwise, you could struggle to eat crisp fruits and vegetables.
5. Avoid Injuries
Crooked teeth could increase your chances of an injury. If your teeth are protruding at odd angles, you could knock one out. You might bite your tongue or cut the inside of your cheek, too.
Instead, consider finding an orthodontist South Charlotte residents trust. Charlotte orthodontics can straighten your teeth, reducing your risk of an injury.
6. Open Your Airways
Straightening your teeth can open your airways as well. You can reduce your risk of sleep apnea as a result.
Talk to your orthodontist about your treatment options. For example, they might suggest you wear a clear aligner or mouthpiece to bed. Interceptive orthodontic treatments can remedy your sleep apnea.
It could help prevent other health problems down the road as well.
7. Make Space
Are you missing a tooth? Your orthodontist might recommend dental implants. Before you receive an implant, however, you might need to straighten your teeth.
Straightening your teeth with orthodontics will make space for your implant. Then, you can restore your smile and renew your confidence.
If your teeth aren’t straight, however, your orthodontist might struggle to develop a solution.
8. Improve Your Jaw Health
Remember, a misaligned smile could increase your risk of tooth decay or gingivitis. If there’s too much space or stress on your gums, the bones supporting your teeth can break down. You could experience tooth loss or chronic pain as a result.
Orthodontics could improve your jaw health. You can straighten your smile and reduce stress on your jaw joint. Meanwhile, you’ll also correct your bite, reducing your risk of pain and other issues.
9. Boost Your Confidence
One of the biggest benefits of orthodontics is its ability to boost your self-esteem.
If you’re hiding your smile behind closed lips, consider visiting Koreich and Case orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can renew the appearance of your smile. A straighter smile can help you feel more confident.
It can boost your social status, too.
In fact, people with ideal smiles are considered more intelligent. They also have a greater chance of finding a job compared to people with non-ideal smiles.
You can make a stronger first impression when you meet people by showing off your smile. People will remember your dazzling, straight teeth. You could have an easier time getting your dream job as a result.
Boosting your self-confidence can make you feel happier in life, too. You’ll make new connections and take healthy risks.
Your cortisol levels will decrease as well, which can improve your overall health.
Straighter Smiles: 9 Benefits of Charlotte Orthodontics
Don’t live life hiding your smile away. Instead, consider these nine benefits of Charlotte orthodontics. By visiting your local orthodontist, you improve your smile and live your best life!
Want to create your perfect smile? We’re here to help.
Contact us today to get started.
Thinking of getting your teeth straightened?
It isn’t surprising that more than 4 million Americans wear braces. Besides a perfect smile, there are various health benefits to having straight teeth.
Meanwhile, crooked teeth can make your gums prone to collecting more harmful bacteria. This, in turn, can make you more susceptible to health complications.
Thus, there’s also no such thing as being “too old” for braces. The American Association of Orthodontists notes that about 1 in 5 patients is over the age of 18.
The desire for straight teeth goes beyond aesthetics. If you want to know why it’s good to invest in orthodontics, read on. Here are the benefits of having straight teeth.
It’s Easier to Clean Straight Teeth
Crowded teeth give harmful bacteria more places to hide in. It’s also easier for food to get stuck in crowded teeth more often. Since it’s harder to clean crowded teeth, food particles can get stuck and form into tartar or plaque.
This encourages cavities to develop since plaque can release acid. Your teeth can start to decay, bringing pain and eventual tooth loss.
Regular brushing and flossing are necessary to prevent tooth decay. Having straight teeth can make it easier to clean and maintain. There will be fewer nooks and crannies that escape proper brushing and flossing.
Reduced Wear and Tear
There’s less wear-and-tear the straighter your teeth are. With straight teeth, the top and bottom teeth fit against each other better.
Crooked teeth don’t align as much. This can cause uneven wearing away of the teeth’s enamel. This will worsen if you have bruxism and grind your teeth at night.
Biting and chewing also generate a lot of pressure. Teeth with proper alignment can handle biting and chewing without potential problems. Those with bite problems can tend to put too much stress on their teeth.
This makes you susceptible to notches, fractures, or abnormal flattening of the bite. Having straight teeth saves you from dental work by preventing worse teeth damage.
Since it’s easier to brush and floss straight teeth, you prevent the build-up of plaque. Plaque build-up in crooked teeth can cause inflammation of the gums.
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to illness or injury. It’s meant to help your mouth in eliminating germs. However, too much inflammation can lead to infection of the gums.
This can lead to gingivitis, causing red, bleeding, or swollen gums. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more severe gum disease. When left untreated, this can lead to eventual tooth loss.
Having straight teeth that are easy to clean will keep your gums healthy. It also prevents further health complications.
No More Headaches or Neck Pain
Having straight teeth also reduces excessive strain on your jaw bone and joints. A misaligned bite due to crooked teeth can lead to jaw misalignment. This can then lead to chronic headaches or pain in the neck or face.
Straightening your teeth can avoid this because of a well-aligned bite. This allows the smooth movement of the temporomandibular joints without any unnecessary stress. Fewer headaches and migraines are some of the biggest straight teeth benefits.
Teeth play an important role in your speech, even if you aren’t aware of it. Crowded, gapped, or protruding teeth can impact your speaking patterns.
Braces and aligners may give you an initial lisp yet this is only temporary. Straight teeth can put a permanent end to speech problems caused by misaligned teeth.
Can Improve Digestion
We already mentioned that straight teeth also means a perfect bite. This also makes for easier and better chewing. Proper chewing is important because it’s the start of the food digestion process.
Food that’s been poorly chewed makes your stomach and intestines work harder. In fact, even healthy eaters can suffer from an unhealthy gut when they don’t chew their food right.
Proper chewing helps your digestive organs and can speed up the digestion process. Your body can get more nutrition out of food, and you’ll experience fewer stomach issues.
There’s More Space for Implants
Your dentist might suggest dental implants if you’re missing one or more adult teeth. Implants complete your set of teeth for better chewing and speaking.
Before you can get implants, there must be enough space in your mouth to put them in. Your dentist must then make sure that you have straight teeth first. Straighter teeth will free up space to fit new dental implants.
Some people can feel embarrassed about their crooked teeth. Because of the condition of their mouth and teeth, 1 in 4 adults avoids smiling. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 feel anxiety over the same issue.
Improved self-confidence can be a straight teeth benefit. People with straight teeth worry less about their teeth and smile more.
Smiling often and not holding it back to hide your teeth can also improve your mental well-being. A big smile can release endorphins and serotonin, improving your mood.
Some also hesitate on getting braces because of how they’ll look. Yet metal braces aren’t your only option to straighten your teeth. You can opt for Invisalign, which is less noticeable.
Straight Teeth Benefits: Better Overall Health
We’ve already said how crooked teeth can increase tooth decay and gum disease risk. Tooth decay and the bacteria it encourages can develop into mouth sores and tooth loss.
Studies show that this can create oral infections with further complications. This includes serious ailments like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and pneumonia.
Indeed, straight teeth benefit not only your dental health. It contributes to the general well-being of your body.
How Straight Teeth Can Improve Your Health
Having straight teeth is not only a confidence booster.
It makes your life more convenient by making your teeth easier to clean. This, in turn, prevents serious oral diseases that might need more expensive treatment.
If you want to know how to get straight teeth, contact us today and book an appointment!
Your smile is one of the first things people notice. So what do people see when you smile?
If you aren’t flashing a perfect pearly-white smile, don’t fret; you aren’t alone. In fact, very few people are born with perfectly straight teeth, which is why so many turn to Invisalign to fix their smile.
Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces, and the treatment isn’t as expensive as you might think. Here, we’ll discuss the process, including the average cost of Invisalign. By the end, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect from your treatment and how affordable Invisalign is.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Unlike traditional metal braces, getting Invisalign is a more discreet way to correct your smile. Invisalign uses clear aligners like the mouthpieces athletes wear to protect their teeth instead of metal brackets and wires.
These clear aligners are completely removable, making them much more convenient than braces when it comes to eating and cleaning your teeth. The best part is they are more effective too.
Only a professional orthodontist can say for sure, but Invisalign has proven extremely effective in treating nearly every condition that affects your smile. Crowding teeth happen when there isn’t enough space in the jaw bone. Teeth grow in at odd angles, but Invisalign can correct overcrowding.
Gaps in teeth are common and one of the easiest conditions to treat with Invisalign. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are all treatable with Invisalign. Talk with an orthodontist to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign.
What Is the Average Cost of Invisalign?
The cost of Invisalign varies from person to person because every smile is different. The average cost is around $5,000, with small corrections costing as little as $2,000 or more difficult corrections as much as $7,000 or more.
There are factors that can raise these costs, such as additional orthodontic work needed before you can begin using Invisalign.
Teeth extraction can be necessary, especially with overcrowding. You may not have the space in your mouth to straighten all of your teeth.
The average cost of a tooth extraction ranges between $1,000 and $1,500 without insurance. If you have insurance, you can expect to pay between $300 and $600, depending on your coverage and deductible.
Severely crooked or twisted teeth might need to be shaped, adding to the Invisalign cost. Shaping teeth can cost as little as $100 per tooth.
In most cases, you’ll need a retainer once the straightening with Invisalign is complete. These retainers cost between $300 and $700.
Some orthodontists offer a lifetime replacement program where you pay around $1,000 upfront and never have to pay to replace your retainer, should you lose it.
Ways to Save on Invisalign
There are ways to save money while still realizing the benefits of Invisalign. You can research the following programs to see which methods work best for you.
Most insurance plans cover Invisalign as part of your orthodontic care. How much is based on the plan you have, so contact your provider for details.
Flexible Spending Accounts
One strategy you can take advantage of is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). FSAs are pretax withholdings taken from your paycheck every week and set aside in an account to be spent on healthcare expenses not covered by insurance. Many employers offer these as part of their benefits package.
The benefit here is you aren’t taxed on this money. But you are limited to how much money you can withhold in your FSA account. In 2021 the amount is capped at $2,750.
Health Savings Account
Another strategy is using a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA also allows you to withhold money from your paycheck before taxes, like an FSA.
There are differences between them though. One difference is your HSA funds can roll over year to year, while your FSA must be spent.
Another difference is you can withhold more money than an FSA. Withholding limits in 2021 are $3,600 for individual plans and $7,200 for family plans. You might be required to have a high-deductible insurance plan to qualify for an HSA.
Many orthodontists offer payment plans. Often, they are no-interest plans that stretch as long as 24 months.
Your treatment could last up to 24 months, so it’s almost like paying as you go. Talk to your orthodontist to see exactly what terms they offer.
No-Interest Credit Cards
Today, several credit card companies cater to the healthcare industry, offering introductory zero interest credit for healthcare expenses. If your orthodontist doesn’t offer a payment plan of their own, this type of credit card can help.
You should always research the terms of these credit cards. Unlike true no-interest credit cards, these credit cards usually defer the interest for a set period of time. It could be six months or 1 year.
If you don’t pay off the balance within that time frame, you will be responsible for paying the actual interest rate on the entire balance. You’ll want to be certain you can pay the entire balance off before going with this option.
Personal loans are an option, as are regular credit cards. However, these should be a last resort because they will cost you more in the long run.
Credit cards and personal loans charge high-interest rates that could drive your overall cost up as much as 25% or more.
Do a little research to see if dental schools in the area offer Invisalign. Dental schools will treat patients at a discounted rate. The trade-off is that you’ll have a student treating you.
This isn’t such a bad idea because a board-certified dentist will oversee your treatment and be there every step of the way to ensure your treatment is done properly.
There are government programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or perhaps Medicaid that will pay some or all of your treatment costs. If you or your children are currently receiving government assistance, you may qualify.
In some cases, if you or your child’s condition is affecting your overall health, the treatments are covered. Benefits differ by state, so check your local programs for more information. Your orthodontist will be able to help you with these and other insurance claims.
Get Your Invisalign Consultation Today
Now that you have a better idea of the average cost of Invisalign, it’s time to see exactly what your treatment will look like. In the hands of a good orthodontist, Invisalign is a powerful tool that can correct almost any abnormality in your smile.
At Koerich and Case Orthodontics in Charlotte, North Carolina, we have over 40 years of experience in correcting smiles and are experts in Invisalign treatments. Our doctors can diagnose your condition and will create a custom treatment plan to correct your teeth and have you smiling proudly in no time.
You can schedule a consultation online. Or call us at 704-334-7204 and one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.