An orthodontist is a dentist who has spent at least a further three years specialising in the field of orthodontics after having completed the dental degree.

Only those who have successfully completed this formal educationmay call themselves "orthodontists."

Orthodontists limit their scope of work to orthodontics only.

Orthodontists are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention andtreatment of orthodontic problems. They dedicate their professionallives to creating healthy, beautiful smiles in children, teens and adults. Well-aligned teeth aremore than attractive: they make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively. Orthodontic care isoften part of a comprehensive oral health plan.

Orthodontists use a variety of "appliances," including braces, clear aligner trays andretainers, to move teeth or hold them in their new positions. Because of orthodontists' advancededucation and clinical experience, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to recommend the bestkind of appliance to meet every individual patient's treatment goals.

A lovely smile is an important asset, so let the best qualified clinician help you to achieve that.

It can take 10 or more years of education after high school to graduate as an orthodontist. Afterdental school, the future orthodontist must be accepted as a student in an accredited orthodonticprogramme. This is where the orthodontic student learns the skills required to managetooth movement (Orthodontics) and guide facial development (DentoFacial Orthopaedics). In SouthAfrica only orthodontic specialists may be members of the South African Society of Orthodontists(SASO) and must also be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as aspecialist orthodontist.

Braces are far more attractive than crooked teeth.

Your family dentist may be able to offer you orthodontic treatment, but is not an orthodonticspecialist having not undergone specialist training. Your general dentist may have taken someadditional weekend training seminars but this does not provide the same qualifications to offerorthodontic treatment, nor can the title Orthodontist be used. Orthodontists also work in closerelationship with dentists, and patients are urged to still attend their regular dental check-upswhilst undergoing orthodontic treatment.