Aside from being your all-time favorite doctor, an orthodontist is a dentist who went through extra schooling to become a specialist in preventing, diagnosing and correcting malocclusions, or improper bites. We’re experts at straightening the teeth and aligning the jaws using orthodontic appliances like braces and Invisalign and guiding jaw and facial growth with dentofacial orthopedics. While perfecting your smile is our main job, we can also help with other related issues like temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and sleep apnea.
What Type of Training Does an Orthodontist Have?
Orthodontists go to school for quite some time. After getting their bachelor’s degree, they actually have six or seven more years to go! Once college is complete, they obtain their doctorate from dental school and then undergo two to three additional years of specialty training. This training consists of clinically-based learning where they treat actual patients during an orthodontic residency program. Once they’re done, they have to pass examinations to become a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics.
Dr. Sturgill even went the extra mile by becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, meaning he’s a board certified orthodontist. Only 40 percent of practicing orthodontists are board certified. It requires voluntarily going through hundreds of extra hours of preparation to demonstrate the judgment, skill and knowledge necessary to provide the highest level of patient care.
Do I Have to See an Orthodontist?
Orthodontics is an art and a science and to get it right, it’s essential to uncover the root cause of a patient’s malocclusion. An orthodontist has the training to know whether the bite problems are dental or skeletal, which treatment will be best suited to each particular case and how to achieve exceptional, lasting results. Since orthodontic treatment permanently changes the teeth, and sometimes the entire facial structure, it’s in your best interest to stick with a specialist.