Thursday, 23rd November 2017
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ORTHODONTIST

Orthodontics is focused on the prevention and treatment of malocclusions – misalignment of the teeth or jaws or an uneven bite. Some orthodontists may specialise in cosmetic dentistry, although this is not one of the formally recognised dentistry specialisms.

Not everyone grows up with straight teeth, a well-formed bite and a comfortable tooth-jaw relationship, so orthodontists work to improve either the aesthetic appearance or the function of patients’ teeth and jaws to promote ease of oral functions, such as biting, chewing and talking and also to improve the confidence of patients.

They work using different types of hardware depending on the needs of the patient, including fixed braces, head braces and retainers.

Patients will usually be referred to an orthodontist by a general dental practitioner. The dentist or orthodontist will try and identify the problems with the teeth or jaw, devise a treatment strategy, advise the patient on the best course of treatment, discuss procedures and organise costs.

Patients who are wearing hardware to improve their teeth will go for check-ups with the orthodontists to check progress and make adjustments.

Orthodontists will perform other procedures on patients, such as bonding chipped or misshapen teeth and applying veneers and fillings.

To ensure patients are being given the best possible treatment, all dentists and dental care professionals are required by the General Dental Council to undertake a minimum of 250 hours of CPD across a five-year post-registration cycle. CPD could involve any number of activities, including attending seminars or lectures, distance or multimedia learning, private study, peer assessment or research.

Continual Professional Development covers a number of areas relevant to all dental care professionals, the three core subjects of which are dealing with medical emergencies, disinfection and radiography and radiation.

For more information about Continual Professional Development please visit the General Dental Council