An orthodontist is a dental specialist that has completed an additional 2 to 3 years residency program accredited by the ADA of advanced education in orthodontics. After receiving the additional years of training and education, an orthodontist has learned the skills that are required to treat the misalignment of teeth and facial development with braces, retainers, headgear and other methods.
Patients can expect a detailed study and examination of their teeth. During this examination, X-rays of your head, neck, jaws and teeth will be taken. Pictures of your profile, face and teeth will also be used. An evaluation of your mouth will determine what type of bite problem (malocclusion) you may have.
The orthodontist may make impressions of your teeth from which dental models of your teeth will be made. This involves pressing a soft material over your teeth and leaving it for a minute or two to harden. Then plaster is poured in the impressions to make the dental models. You will be asked to bite into a soft piece of wax for a few seconds so that the dental models can be lined up to match your bite.
Orthodontics, usually with braces, can move your teeth so they fit together better. In some cases, if the jaws themselves are misaligned, the jaws are moved with a combination of orthodontics and oral surgery called orthognathic surgery.
Results and Research
Currently, and based on the available evidence, the widely accepted conclusion is that orthodontic treatment neither causes nor cures TMD. — The overall findings of orthodontic clinical studies