How Dental Check-Ups Benefit Orthodontic Treatment

Do you know how dentists and orthodontists work together or even how they differ? Today, the Clauss Orthodontics team wants to explain how these professionals collaborate and answer the question: Do dental check-ups help with orthodontic treatment?

Understanding the Differences

Before exploring how dental check-ups assist our process, let’s clarify the differences and similarities between orthodontists and dentists.

  • An orthodontist, like our own Dr. Clauss, specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting dental and facial irregularities, focusing primarily on the treatment of misaligned teeth or jaws using braces and aligners.
  • A dentist serves as a general provider, similar to a primary care physician in the broader medical field, while orthodontists specialize in specific conditions. Dentists offer a wide range of treatments, addressing issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. Common dental procedures include cleanings, fillings, and extractions.

In many instances, a dentist refers the patient to our office. Here are a few issues that typically warrant an orthodontic referral:

  • Malocclusion
  • Crowding
  • Impacted Teeth
  • Spacing Issues
  • Crooked Teeth 
  • Jaw Misalignment

Our treatment process at Clauss Orthodontics usually involves collaboration between you, our doctors, and your dentist. This teamwork ensures you receive comprehensive orthodontic care.

How Dental Check-Ups Benefit Orthodontic Treatment

Your Treatment Options

In our office, we offer the following treatments—which can be for kids, teens, and adults, depending on the patient:

  • Invisalign stands as the most discreet method for aligning teeth. Through a 3D model, we ensure precise fit for the series of aligners tailored to your needs. This is usually best for teenagers and adults who seek a less visible form of treatment over traditional braces.
  • Metal braces are traditional, exceptionally durable, and efficient. They are suitable for both children and adults and often present the most economical choice.
  • Clear braces function similarly to their metal counterparts but blend with your tooth color, resulting in a less conspicuous appearance. However, they may be more delicate due to their material composition.
How Dental Check-Ups Benefit Orthodontic Treatment

How Your Dentist Helps 

Regular visits to your dentist are essential for maintaining overall oral health, regardless of whether you have braces or aligners. While dentists do not conduct orthodontic adjustments themselves—such as tightening braces or replacing broken wires—they play a vital role in monitoring progress and identifying any potential issues.

These are the some other key ways these appointments help the treatment process:

  1. Additional Attention: Your dentist can conduct x-rays, take photographs, and create dental impressions, providing additional tools to assess how well your teeth are shifting into their new positions and determine if adjustments are necessary.
  2. Professional Cleanings: Routine visits to the dentist typically involve thorough cleanings, which are particularly crucial for individuals with braces. Many may find it challenging to maintain cleanliness with these appliances, and proper hygiene is essential for preventing issues such as cavities and gum disease.
  3. Educating Patients: Dentists also educate patients on proper oral care practices. With this additional knowledge, our patients can better care for their teeth and braces.
  4. Preventing Complications: Dentists identify and address potential issues early on, such as those mentioned above, which can interfere with orthodontic treatment. Resolving these issues promptly helps ensure smooth progress in treatment.
  5. Collaborative Treatment Planning: In some cases, interdisciplinary treatments require a comprehensive plan encompassing both orthodontic treatment and general dental care if deemed necessary and beneficial for the patient. Other professionals, such as periodontists (gum health) and oral surgeons, may also be involved.
  6. Management of Dental Issues: Dental problems that arise during orthodontic treatment, such as broken brackets, loose wires, or emergencies, may require immediate attention. Your dentist may intervene before we can, helping to maintain the integrity of your appliance.
  7. Emergency Care: In the case of orthodontic emergencies, such as broken appliances or discomfort, patients may need to seek immediate assistance from a professional. Dentists can provide interim solutions or refer patients back to our team as needed. It’s always important to remember that you shouldn’t try to repair any orthodontic appliances on your own.
  8. Post-Orthodontic Care: After completing treatment, dentists continue to play a role in ongoing oral health. They can offer follow-up care, including retention strategies, and monitor any changes in oral structures.
How Dental Check-Ups Benefit Orthodontic Treatment

Better Together

So as you can see, your dentist will have a significant impact on your experience at Clauss Orthodontics! It’s crucial to keep up with your appointments at both practices. We are equally invested in your oral health and strive for the best possible smile for you. If your dentist has discussed orthodontic treatment as a potential option, or if you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact our Watertown and Middlebury offices.