In modern clinics, you can see a large group of professionals with very similar names. Who are an orthopedic dentist and an orthodontist, what are the differences between their functions in dentistry when they are referred to a particular doctor, do they have something in common? Let’s see how these spheres intersect, and why they cannot be considered adjacent.
Orthopedic dentistry and activities related to it
This area is associated with the elimination of deficiencies that relate to speech and chewing functions. A medical worker is engaged in implantation, removable and non-removable prosthetics, and also solves many other tasks, such as:
- therapy of pathologies of the maxillofacial apparatus;
- diagnosis of speech defects;
- restoration of lost teeth (in whole or in part).
Thus, the orthopedist completely restores dentition and makes them aesthetically attractive. This specialist is often called a prosthetist since his main task is to install prostheses. However, this is far from the only function, the doctor also deals with:
- treatment of periodontitis and other pathologies of periodontal tissues;
- restoration of partially destroyed units, if the root retains its integrity;
- working with patients who do not have a single tooth;
- elimination of difficulties with chewing food;
therapy of the joint located in front of the ear and consisting of the temporal bone and the lower jaw.
In addition, the orthopedist can restore the original shade of the implant so that the element does not catch the eye against the background of the dentition. This allows you to make the smile aesthetically more attractive.
Professionally performed implantation does not interfere with chewing food and does not affect diction. An experienced dentist can easily restore partially destroyed chewing teeth or completely replace them with implants. Modern dentistry has a rich arsenal of methods for building up hard tissues, which show high efficiency, even if the crown part is more than half destroyed.
During treatment, doctors work with the following materials:
- bridge structures;
- veneers (overlays that mask minor aesthetic problems);
Thus, orthopedics is a branch of dentistry that allows you to solve the following problems:
- make a diagnosis based on the results of the studies;
- treat with the use of therapeutic methods;
- prepare the oral cavity for subsequent prosthetics and implantation;
- take impressions of the dentition;
- to implant implants and install prostheses.
When diagnosing the loss of hard and soft tissues, specialists resort to restoring their integrity. Doctors also eliminate micro damage on the surfaces of the tooth and strengthen the enamel.
When are referrals to an orthopedist?
Quite often, dentists of other specializations advise patients to seek help from an orthopedic professional. For example, during the installation of a filling, the therapist may determine that the tooth is damaged so badly that it requires the use of more radical methods of therapy. When a whole root remains, it is enough to build up a crown or use another method without implantation. Standard treatment does not imply this.
How Mouth Ulcers are Diagnosed, Cured and Prevented
After the extraction of the dental unit by the surgeon, the client is referred to the orthopedist for a quick filling of the missing space. Often, surgery is performed by an orthopedic specialist, since the implantation of some structures requires certain skills and experience in surgery. For example, the patient may need to cut and suture soft tissues, and build up bone structures before implantation.
When not to do without a consultation:
- Lost a tooth or need it removed
- the coronal part is damaged;
- several or all dental units are missing in the mouth;
- crowns are movable;
- there is sensitivity to temperature changes when eating and drinking;
- diagnosed with periodontal disease and pathology of the mucous membranes;
- aesthetic defects are revealed;
- revealed pathological processes of the temporomandibular joint;
- a therapist or other professional insists on the need for consultation.
The specialist solves a wide variety of issues related to the repair of a destroyed or fallen-out dentition, and their complete or partial replacement. Thus, the answer to the question of who is engaged in prosthetics, inserts teeth, and puts crowns – an orthodontist or an orthopedist, is unambiguous – this is done by an orthopedic doctor. At the same time, he does not do alignment, does not correct bite defects, but carries out radical restoration work.
Orthodontic dentistry and its features
Orthodontics deals with the treatment of anomalies in the development of the maxillofacial apparatus. Due to occlusion or dentition, care is significantly more difficult. The possibility of the early development of caries, periodontitis, and other serious diseases of the oral cavity increases. Pathology contributes to the appearance of an additional load on the muscles of the face at the time when we chew food, which provokes a headache, as well as pain in the neck, back, and shoulder joints.
Thanks to the intervention of an orthodontist, you can significantly improve the appearance and condition of the oral cavity, and get a dream smile for many years.
Orthodontic treatment can be needed for patients of any age. Therapeutic intervention is prescribed for problems with aesthetics and according to functional indications. After undergoing therapy, a significant improvement in the quality of life of an adult or a child is observed, and the life of the teeth is extended. A person with a normal bite not only shines with a dazzling smile but also gets rid of malfunctions in the functioning of organs and systems.
It is possible to correct violations of occlusion even after 40 years. However, it will take much longer than for teenagers. The most important condition for the effectiveness of treatment is the presence in the mouth of all dental units necessary for the installation of corrective structures.
Our experts identify a list of pathological processes, in the presence of which the intervention of an orthodontist is unlikely to bring any positive result:
- diagnosed malignant neoplasms;
- pathology of the heart and blood vessels, endocrine or bone system;
- blood diseases;
- bruxism (teeth grinding caused by spasms of chewing muscles).
To correct the bite, aligners, plates, braces, etc. (removable and non-removable) are most often used. In the most severe cases, surgery is indicated. Which technique is suitable for a particular case is determined by the attending physician.
Types of non-removable corrective products:
- Bracket system. The most common type of construction. It is attached to the dental units in such a way that they gradually move and close. Therapy can last from several months to 2-3 years. Modern models are maximally improved: they are light, invisible to strangers, and do not require long-term adaptation.
- Space holders. They are used if milk teeth fall out prematurely in children, and it is necessary to save free space for the eruption of molars, canines, and molars.
- Retainers. They are used to fix the result with the help of a bracket system.
- Removable mechanisms used in orthodontics:
- Records. An almost imperceptible device, which is most often installed in the smallest patients of dental clinics. This is a simpler and less expensive alternative to braces.
- Aligners (caps). Transparent polymer structures fit snugly to the crowns and are almost invisible to others. Such treatment is prescribed for minor psalidodontia. The main advantage is the absence of an adaptation period. Aligners do not irritate mucous membranes and do not cause allergic reactions.
- Removable space holders. They perform the same function as fixed ones.
When are referrals to an orthodontist?
You need to see a doctor if:
- severe problems with bite (teeth on the upper or lower jaw noticeably protrude forward);
- difficulty chewing food, biting;
- eruption of incisors, canines, and molars in the wrong position;
- the sensation of clicks of the joints when opening the oral cavity;
- removal or loss of milk teeth ahead of time.
Types of this defect, in which orthodontic treatment is prescribed:
- Distal. The upper front teeth protrude anteriorly relative to the parallel row.
- mesial. The lower jaw comes forward. The upper one is much less developed.
- Cross. Differs in the underdevelopment of one of the parties of any jaw.
- Open. When the jaws close, large gaps are visible between them.
- Dystopia. The teeth are not in their natural place but are shifted in different directions.
There are other violations that the orthodontist eliminates. For example, therapy is needed when the incisors, canines, and molars are in a tight position. Dental units are located in a larger number than should have grown in certain areas of the jaws with normal occlusion.
Thus, the help of an orthodontist is required for large gaps due to the removal, loss, or absence of teeth from birth, as well as for various pathologies of the jaw: crowding, curvature, displacement, and over-completion of incisors, canines, and molars.
The tactics of treatment are determined directly by the doctor. To make an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to conduct a visual and instrumental examination, obtain x-rays and make casts. Patients with malocclusion experience discomfort due to this aesthetic defect. In addition, violations of occlusion lead to:
- the rapid spread of carious lesions;
- problems in the digestive system;
- the curvature of the spinal column;
- the occurrence of problems with the ligamentous apparatus, facial muscles, and jaw joints.
The therapy is suitable for people of all ages. More recently, it was generally accepted that this area shows effectiveness only in the treatment of children and adolescents.
Orthodontist and orthopedist: what are the differences
Orthodontics includes a set of corrective measures that are primarily aimed at correcting the bite and eliminating aesthetic defects. For this, various designs are used (brackets, aligners, plates, retainers, etc.). The orthopedic method is indicated for the restoration of dentition through prosthetics and implantation. Even though both specialties are somehow related to each other, and specialists can be well-versed in all areas, there are serious differences in the functions that they perform, the tasks they solve, and the tools and materials used.
What do an orthopedic dentist or an orthodontist do in common?
These areas are almost impossible to call adjacent. They come into contact only in that they participate in the correction of the bite, and the result of therapy will be a normal closure of the units and a complete renewal of the chewing function.
How to know which one of these specialists you need
You will need an orthodontist if diagnosed with:
- pronounced protrusion of the jaws (upper or lower);
- the pathological eruption, crowding;
- any type of malocclusion.
Also, this doctor helps patients who have difficulty biting food and chewing. Orthodontics is indicated if, when moving the jaws, clicks of the joints are heard, when the milk incisors, canines, and molars are removed or fell out, during long-term extraction without restoring the integrity of the rows.
Having figured out the difference between an orthodontist and an orthopedist in dentistry, and what methods they use, we can conclude that an orthopedic specialist helps with:
- the absence of one or more units;
- pronounced destruction;
- excessive mobility, tooth sensitivity, diagnosed diseases such as periodontal disease, periodontitis, etc.;
- aesthetic problems (different shapes and sizes, differences in shade);
- pathology of the temporomandibular joint.
When the dentition is still subject to restoration without complete extraction with the root, the orthopedist installs crowns that can last for decades. In severe cases, implantation and prosthetics are used.
We looked at what an orthopedic dentist does, whether it differs from an orthodontist, and why. Let’s deal with the points not disclosed above.
Why are two such different specialists called so similarly
In the Greek language, the word “????” has a translation as “correct, direct.” Doctors of both profiles add aesthetics to the dentition, making them correct. At the same time, each dentist uses their methods.
Is it possible to work in two professions at once
This is possible if a person has officially received both specialties. However, in most cases, there are exclusively narrow-profile professionals.
If you need both orthodontic and orthopedic treatment – who to contact first
As a rule, therapy begins with the correction of the bite, and only then the installation of implants or prostheses is required. Sometimes, to prevent the loss of dental units (when long-term orthodontic intervention is indicated), temporary constructions are put first.
Who puts braces, orthodontist or orthopedist? Is it possible to correct jaw defects in patients of any age, or is it effective only in the case of children and adolescents? How to understand which specialist you need in the first place? If you still have questions, we suggest that you do not hesitate and contact the dental clinic “Dentika”.
Despite the consonance of the names of professions, they differ significantly, although in both cases an attractive and healthy smile is created.
What kind of professional is needed in each case, an orthodontist or a dental orthopedist, what is the difference between doctors, and where to start treatment in dentistry, you can find out at a consultation at Dentika. Contact us by the phone numbers listed on the site, fill out the feedback form, or better yet, come to us in person, and we will select the most effective therapeutic regimen.