What does an orthodontist do day to day?
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a fully qualified specialist, who originally trained as a dentist. Since then they will have taken on an additional three years of study to finish their master's or doctorate level degree. Orthodontists are highly sought after and the position itself is lucrative.
Before a dentist can finally become a registered orthodontist they have to complete work experience in paediatric, restorative and maxillofacial dental surgery. Normally this specialist training takes place in a hospital, linked with their choice of university and is a full time voluntary commitment. Here they may learn theory or take part in treating some mild cases in members of the public if they permit it.
Besides completing complex planned surgeries, orthodontists may be called into emergency appointments when urgent dental care is needed. This is especially common in hospitals, where there is a high frequency of inbound emergency dental cases compared to an office-based dental surgery.
Often orthodontists are dealing with appointments for planned surgery, such as taking x rays, moulding for brace fitting, and other smaller practical treatments that require little or no complex or invasive techniques to be used. Sometimes these may be handled by a technician or dental therapist if the orthodontist is busy.
During downtime, orthodontists often review x rays to plan treatments, create, update and email dental reports about patients, or advise their technicians on what work is needed to set up for the next appointment in good time. The life an orthodontist has a very hefty workload, but is well rewarded in terms of job satisfaction and remuneration.
Orthodontists mainly specialise in highly complex areas of dentistry such as facial development, teeth and jaw aesthetics and restoration, for these surgeries they may use dentistry equipment such as fixed bracers, or aligners, which once fitted help to guide the teeth into the ideal position.
Fitting braces or retainers is one of the easiest ways to encourage teeth to mooth, especially if your adult teeth are still developing. This encourages a much better mouth structure and gives you the best possible results. Many people are choosing to wear clear aligners, as these help to manage your teeth into position without the often aesthetically displeasing result of having to wear metal braces or retainers.
How do I choose an orthodontist?
When choosing an orthodontist, it’s important to look at the experience of the practice and the orthodontist themselves (how many years service, patients served, reviews).
Location is also an important factor, ensure that your orthodontist is easily accessible, not just in office hours - especially if you require regular appointments or may need of out of hours care. You can find your nearest orthodontic specialist on our “find a provider” page
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