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What is an Orthodontist?


What is an Orthodontist?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. An Orthodontist is a dental specialist who deals with properly aligning teeth and jaws to improve facial structure, your smile, as well as, overall oral health. An Orthodontist has completed a minimum of two (2) additional years in an American Dental Association Accredited program, studying how to diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial abnormalities. During the additional years of training, they study the growth and development of the dento-facial complex, the mechanics of tooth movement, and the properties of the materials used to accomplish any necessary dento-facial changes. Through diligent practice and supervision by experienced orthodontist the orthodontic student is trained to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaws, and improve the function of your smile.

You should always have dento-facial and orthodontic treatment performed by a certified Orthodontist.

What Should I Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist?

Choosing an Orthodontist to trust with the beauty of your smile or your child’s smile is an important decision. Orthodontic treatment has the potential to be a long process, so you will want to make sure you or your child are comfortable with the orthodontist. Your orthodontic experience is something you will remember for the rest of your life, so make sure it is something to smile about. Dr. West looks forward to being your Orthodontist!

Why Should I Choose Dr. West for My Orthodontist?

During dental school, Dr. West enjoyed learning about the growth and development of the cranial facial structures. Although he mastered the reparative process of restoring teeth with fillings and crowns as well as and fabricating dentures, and all the other dental procedures performed in dentistry, he was much more excited about creating beautiful smiles. As he progressed through dental training he was mentored by several members of the Pediatric Dental faculty who recognized his abilities to put children at ease during the delivery of their dental care. These faculty mentors encouraged him to pursue post graduate training in Pediatric Dentistry. During this training he was able to treat multiple patients with cranial facial anomalies. Upon completion of two years of Pediatric Dental residency Dr. West entered his private practice in West Houston area. A good friend and orthodontist mentioned to him that the hardest thing about the orthodontic cases Dr. West referred to him was that they wondered why Dr. West did not do their orthodontic treatment himself. The orthodontist encouraged Dr. West to pursue further studies in orthodontics; as his passion was evident. In an effort to pursue further certifiable education in oral facial care, he applied and was accepted to post graduate training in the specialty of orthodontics and dento-facial orthopedics becoming one of the first dentists in Houston to have a dual specialty in both Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

These two specialties, Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, are such an integral part of a child’s growth; being able to provide both types of care in one office by one provider is very unique. Dr. West can work in early phased treatment to correct problems related to facial growth and development and proceed directly into the correction of tooth position when it is appropriate. Your child no longer has to start early treatment in a Pediatric Dental office and then later be referred to the Orthodontic office; this may reduce your overall cost of treatment, not to mention the development of trust and positive rapport in your child’s oral care.

Complementary Orthodontic Consultation

Dr. West offers a complementary orthodontic evaluation to all patients.

The complementary evaluation involves a review of your (your child’s) dental and medical history forms, a thorough oral exam noting which teeth are present, the periodontal conditions present or missing, the bite and the relationship of the upper and lower jaw to each other, to determine whether treatment is necessary.

If you or your child is a candidate for orthodontics and you wish to proceed with a complete diagnostic work-up, we will gather the additional records necessary to develop a comprehensive treatment plan if time is available and your schedule allows, or arrangements can be made to schedule another appointment. The additional diagnostic records needed to formulate a comprehensive orthodontic plan are specialized radiographs, models of your teeth, and photographs.