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Why Do I Need an Orthodontist?
American Association of Orthodontists American Association of Orthodontists
St. Louis , MO
Friday, February 23, 2018

Why Do I Need an Orthodontist?

A beautiful smile is the outward sign of successful orthodontic treatment; there is, however, a lot more to getting there than you might think. Orthodontic treatment is complex biological process. It involves changes in jaw bones, facial bones and soft tissue as teeth are moved into their new positions. Members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) master the multi-faceted intricacies of orthodontic treatment during their two to three-year residencies in accredited orthodontic programs so that they can help patients develop healthy, beautiful smiles. Because the very foundations of the face and mouth are at stake, it is vital that patients see their AAO orthodontist regularly throughout their treatment.

Orthodontic treatment is not a quick fix – it's a healthy fix. Your care starts with a thorough examination of the teeth and mouth, and study of dental records such as x-rays, photos and models of the teeth. From this detailed information your orthodontist develops a custom treatment plan. You will be advised of the recommended treatment, how long it is expected to last, and steps your must take as a patient, such as keeping scheduled appointments, to reach treatment goals.

Because orthodontic treatment is such a complex process, even the most carefully planned treatments should be monitored regularly to ensure treatment is on course. If anything is amiss, a regularly-scheduled visit gives the orthodontist the opportunity to appropriately intervene in a timely manner. Appointments are scheduled roughly every six-to-ten weeks to assess tooth movement and oral health, and to adjust your treatment as needed.

Working together with your orthodontist, orthodontic treatment can yield life-enhancing results: better function (biting, chewing, speaking), improved appearance and increased self-esteem. It is recommended that you: keep your scheduled appointments, advise your orthodontist of problems that may crop up between appointments, watch what you eat and drink, avoid sugary drinks (soda, sports drinks and sweet tea) and brush and floss as instructed by your orthodontist. It's worth the effort to reach the goal you and your orthodontist share: giving you a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.

Members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) help children, teenagers and adults achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.

Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws. After graduating from dental school, orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only orthodontists can be members of the AAO.

Founded in 1900, the AAO is the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization. It represents more than 19,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. The AAO encourages and sponsors key research to enable its members to provide the highest quality of care to patients, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment.

For more information, and to find AAO orthodontists near you, visit www.aaoinfo.org.

Pam Paladin
St. Louis, MO