Do you have a mental block when it comes to anything that is dentistry-related? Some people may have had an unpleasant experience during their childhood and would rather stay away from the dentist's chair if they can help it, but sometimes this is unavoidable. If you've been putting off a visit but realise that you can't any longer, you may still be confused by the raft of experts out there. For example, do you need to visit a dentist or an orthodontist, and what is the difference anyway?
Levels of Complexity
There are a number of different specialties within the dental profession, and each person is a highly trained expert in their particular field. A general dentist focuses on prevention and "straightforward" procedures, whereas an orthodontist has had additional training in certain areas. Remember, everyone who practices in this field in Australia is required to be licensed and all of them are qualified to advise you, but sometimes you will be referred to a specialist for a particular type of treatment.
Where to Start
In the first instance, you should probably book an appointment with a dentist who will be able to give you advice. They will probably schedule an initial cleaning, especially if it's been some time since your last visit. They may be able to suggest some fillings or other initial work, but if they find something that is a little more complex, then they may refer you to the orthodontist.
Reasons to See a Specialist
For example, sometimes people have an unusual bite or may have some teeth that have grown in at an obtuse angle. They may want their teeth to be straightened, which may call for a complete readjustment and the orthodontist is best placed to advise on these issues.
Looking More Closely
When you visit the orthodontist, they'll want to see how your teeth function at the moment and will assess your bite and determine how your teeth align. They may advise you to wear some braces or aligners that will help to correct positioning over a period of months, while you may also need to have a strategic extraction here or there.
Questions and Answers
You may still have some questions, but the only way to answer these is to talk with an orthodontist about your particular case. Get in touch with an orthodontist near you, and they will recommend treatment as needed.