We are bombarded by advertising that promises a gorgeous smile, making it difficult for conscientious healthcare consumers to know where to turn. Here are a few pointers from Concord orthodontist Dr. Michael Vermette, to help guide adults in a quest for a healthy, beautiful smile who are asking: Do I need braces? Maybe a retainer? Can I use clear aligners?
That healthy, beautiful smile begins with properly aligned teeth and jaws, so a visit to the orthodontist is in order. Orthodontists are specialists. “Specialist” has a dual meaning, referring to an individual’s education and their scope of practice. Orthodontists first graduate from dental school (after four years of under grad), and then go on for an additional two-to-three years of education, studying orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. After graduation, orthodontists focus their practices exclusively on orthodontic care. Their additional education and clinical experience sets orthodontists apart from general dental practitioners, who diagnose, treat and manage overall oral health care needs.
Additionally, a board certified orthodontist, like Dr. Vermette, is an orthodontist who has voluntarily gone through the process of demonstrating their judgement, skills and knowledge to their orthodontic peers in order to ultimately provide the highest level of patient care. They acheived board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics, the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association and in affiliation with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Much like you trust your skin to a dermatologist, your heart to a cardiologist and your knees to an orthopedist, your healthy, beautiful smile is best treated by an orthodontist. The choice of where to seek orthodontic treatment can have an impact on the outcome.
Orthodontic care is for patients of all ages these days. According to the AAO, from 2014 to 2016 the number of adult patients treated by AAO members in the U.S. and Canada increased 16 percent to a record high of 1,690,000 patients ages 18 and older. Dr. Vermette notes that advances in techniques and technologies have delivered more options than ever for acheiving a healthy, attractive smile and, for many patients, treatment times have become shorter.
Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, and no one is “too old” for treatment. Today people in their fifties, sixties and beyond are orthodontic patients. A healthy, beautiful smile truly can be yours!