More Than A Dentist

Many of us when we visit our local family dentist, see the same practitioner for all manner of treatments from simple fillings, to root canal surgery, treatment of gum diseases and a myriad of other dental care requirements. Technically, the dentist is performing in a range of specifically identified different dental practices, such as the periodontist, the area of dentistry that focuses on the gums, the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth, to diagnose, treat and prevent all manner of problems. Paediatric dentistry is concerned with the teeth of young children through to adolescence, and may well be the person who refers your child to yet another branch, that of the orthodontist.

The Orthodontist

Orthodontics is an area of specialisation within dentistry that focuses on the occlusion or malocclusion of the bite, in straightening teeth that are growing at the wrong angle, to keep the smile straight and the teeth working in coordination with each other. It is the orthodontist who gives your child the dreaded news that they are going to need braces, retainers and space maintainers, to correct the function and appearance of their teeth. While much of the work of an orthodontist traditionally involved young patients, a significant number of adults now too utilise their services to correct long running dental problems, especially since the invisible braces introduction.


While the tooth may seem like a simple structure, the fact is that being able to understand every aspect of how teeth grow and how to change what nature had decided, takes a very long time. Many of us feel pretty capable of dealing with whatever task we are set to after a couple of years, while an orthodontist such as one found at Sydney Park Dental orthodontics service will initially go through four years of dental school, followed by two to three years of further specialized study in orthodontics. Every set of teeth is different, requiring a unique and individual treatment programme, with the goal of producing not just straight teeth, which is what many are looking for, but to ensure that the subsequent bite will fit seamlessly together when you chew. Straight teeth still need after all to be where they need to be and at the correct angle, or they will clash with an ineffective bite against other straight teeth, also in the wrong place.

Precision And Balance

Obtaining a perfect occlusion is by no means a simple task. A tooth out of normal alignment may be growing at different angles from the one next to it and so on, through the whole set. Some teeth will need to stay where they are, some pulled left, right, forward and so on, with varying levels of force for each one to bring them gradually towards the desired position. Too much force will cause pain to the patient and will move the tooth too far, while too little isn’t going to be of much benefit at all. Many patients do not realise the complexity of it, and only fully realise when the straight smile they had hoped for is achieved, whilst simultaneously perfectly aligning their bite, making eating a much more pleasant experience.

Your family dentist is equipped to deal with minor orthodontic treatments, though if you are referred to the specialist, the end result most likely will be very much appreciated, both aesthetically and functionally.

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