Orthodontics is an essential specialty of dentistry that helps achieve a beautiful smile and a perfect bite. A large portion of the population develops abnormal alignment of the teeth and an improper bite. Orthodontists utilize braces, Invisalign, expanders and retainers to transform a misaligned bite into a masterpiece.
Is Orthodontics a Specialty?
Yes, an orthodontist completes a 2-3 year residency program after completing dental school that focuses specifically on correcting bite issues, crowding problems, and misalignment of the jaws.
Can an Orthodontist be Board Certified?
Yes, but only some orthodontists have passed the exams to become certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. In order to reach this goal, an orthodontist needs to present six before-and-after real patient cases to a committee for approval. In addition, the applicant needs to pass a written examination, testing their overall knowledge of orthodontics. Dr. Jordan Lissauer, our orthodontist at Bright Healthy Smiles, is Board Certified; he passed the exams shortly after completing his orthodontic residency program at Montefiore.
At what age should a child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends the first consult at age 7. A first consult does not mean a child needs orthodontics at this time. Instead, this consult allows an orthodontist to establish a baseline and then follow the growth and development of the teeth and jaws. If intervention is needed, the orthodontist now has a history of how everything is developing and can time the intervention ideally. Dr. Lissauer believes one of the most important aspects of orthodontics is timing the start of treatment correctly. If you have met with him before, you likely know that he will inform you exactly when he thinks would be the perfect timing.
Are there Pediatric Orthodontist or Special-Needs Orthodontists?
Pediatric Orthodontics is not a recognized specialty, but some orthodontists have more experience working with kids. Dr. Lissauer has spent his career working as an orthodontist inside pediatric dental practices, with a focus on pediatric orthodontics. Although he does have many adult patients, the vast majority are children. Also, given his experience, Dr. Lissauer is extremely well versed in orthodontics for patients with sensory issues, special-needs, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, and autism. If your child has special needs and an orthodontist has said that he or she is not a candidate for orthodontics based on behavior or any reason, Dr. Lissauer would recommend a consultation to explore options. Many patients from outside Manhattan travel to his Upper East Side orthodontic practice for care for this reason.
What is the first step for Orthodontics?
The first step is a consultation with an orthodontist. The orthodontist will evaluate smile esthetics, crowding, jaw relationships, alignment of the teeth, eruption of the teeth in a growing child, and the bite. Just because a consultation is scheduled, this does not mean that orthodontics will be recommended. Dr. Lissauer will complete his evaluation and, if orthodontics is indicated, he will discuss options and best timing. There is a perfect time to start orthodontics based on the patient’s age, the issues that need to be corrected and many other individual characteristics. Dr. Lissauer prides himself on timing treatment appropriately so orthodontics is successful, predictable and efficient.