While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what Richard E. Dunn, DDS, MS does for our patients and how exactly Dr. Richard E. Dunn can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontists.
Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that they’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, they’re actually very different. While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, orthodontists go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you probably won’t make an appointment to see an orthodontist. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.
People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may come in crooked. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced to treat easily. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.
Another common misconception about orthodontists is that they only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.
If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what your orthodontist can do for you, then simply ask Dr. Richard E. Dunn. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our Visalia, CA office.