An orthodontist is a dental specialist whose practice focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating irregularities of the teeth and jaws.
Experts in Straight Teeth and Healthy Bites
Orthodontists like Dr. Cara Piskai specialize in treating malocclusion, which is the technical term for an improper bite due to the size, shape, or positioning of the teeth and/or jaws. They’re experts in using appliances to guide jaw growth (dentofacial orthopedics), straighten the teeth, and create a healthy bite in patients of all ages.
What Type of Training Does an Orthodontist Have?
After graduating from high school, orthodontists spend another 10 to 11 years in school! Once they earn their bachelor’s degree from a college or university, they complete four years of dental school to obtain their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
Then, they must be accepted into an orthodontic residency program. Residencies are extremely selective with about 15 applicants for every slot! During their residency, orthodontists receive two to three years of specialty training and gain extensive clinical experience in diagnosing and treating malocclusion.
Orthodontists can also pursue a master’s degree like Dr. Piskai, who as part of hers, conducted original research on palatal expansion that has been published in the major orthodontic journals. Finally, they must pass all exams to become a certified specialist in orthodontics.
What is a Board-Certified Orthodontist?
Dr. Piskai took the additional, voluntary step of becoming certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). This means, after her residency, she completed hundreds of extra hours of preparation and education and had to pass written and clinical examinations.
According to the ABO, the credential “represents an orthodontist’s commitment to the standards of specialty practice and lifelong learning.” Dr. Piskai has to renew her certification every 10 years.
Do I Have to See an Orthodontist to Straighten My Teeth?
Yes, you should visit an orthodontist for any type of orthodontic treatment (i.e., clear aligners, braces, etc.). As a specialist, treating misalignment of the teeth and jaws is the sole focus of an orthodontist’s practice. They have the training, experience, and knowledge to accurately diagnose malocclusion and treat concerns as safely and effectively as possible.
The truth is orthodontic treatment can cause permanent changes in your teeth and facial structure. Dr. Piskai is able to create a smile that’s in harmony with your lips, profile, and jaw for the optimal blend of aesthetics, function, and oral health. To find out what our South Jersey orthodontist can do for you, schedule a free consultation at Piskai Orthodontics today!