Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry which deals with the treatment of irregularities of the teeth and abnormalities in their relation to the surrounding structures. The technical term for these problems is ‘malocclusion’ which means ‘bad bite’.
The practice of orthodontics requires advanced training and professional skills in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.
The most common types of appliances used in orthodontics are fixed metal braces, lingual braces, and invisible braces. Retainers are also an essential part of the orthodontic treatment process as they help teeth to stay in the desired position once the braces have been removed.
While orthodontics is predominantly used to straighten teeth, its benefits go beyond simply moving teeth into their correct position. The results of orthodontic treatment can lead to a more aesthetically pleasing smile which in turn can bring the patient greater self-confidence.
An orthodontist begins their training as a dentist. Once they have qualified as a dentist, they must then pursue specialised education at master’s level in orthodontics. All orthodontists must be registered with the General Dental Council. You can check if an orthodontist is registered by looking for their GDC number.