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Orthodontics

Your Sacramento Ortho Explains the Difference Between Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists

By sacramento ortho, Orthodontics

orthodontist vs oral surgeon

If you’re in need of care for your bite, jaw, wisdom teeth, or crowded teeth, you may be unsure about which dental professional you should visit—an orthodontist or an oral surgeon. This overview will clear common confusion regarding these two dental professions.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes several dental specialties. A few of the more well-known oral healthcare providers are:

  • General dentists
  • Endodontists
  • Periodontists
  • Prosthodontists
  • Orthodontists
  • Oral Surgeons

Aside from attending dental school and holding memberships in dental organizations, oral surgeons and orthodontists have different roles. How do oral surgeons and orthodontists differ? In a nutshell, an orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, while an oral surgeon is the surgical specialist of the dental profession.

Continue reading to learn more about the differences between these two professions.

What Does Their Education Look Like?

Both oral surgeons and orthodontists are required to complete a bachelor’s degree and four years of dental school. Afterward, they complete a residency in their specialties.

Oral Surgeons

An oral surgeon’s four-year residency focuses on an in-depth study of the anatomy of the skin, bones, and muscles of the face, mouth, and jaws.

During this program, the residents learn plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and ears, nose, and throat medicine (collectively called otolaryngology). This four-year residency is specifically chosen and accredited by the American Dental Association.

Oral Surgeons are technically titled oral and maxillofacial surgeons. These doctors are specialists focusing on reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma surgery, the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, jaws, and facial cosmetic surgery.

Orthodontists

After completing dental school, an orthodontist’s residency focuses on properly aligning teeth. The aim goes beyond delivering beautiful smiles. Orthodontists help patients overcome problems with their speech, bite, and chewing.

Orthodontists focus on non-surgical treatments that realign a patient’s dental structures. We rely on orthodontic appliances such as braces and clear aligners to apply gradual force on patients’ teeth. This process ensures we will safely move your teeth and jaws until they reach the desired position.

The Conditions Treated

Oral surgeons and orthodontists treat a variety of dental issues, and they often work together to fix a common problem. For example, patients who have jaw or facial deformities or need corrective jaw surgery may require both specialists.

Both orthodontists and oral surgeons commonly refer patients to each other for specialized treatments.

Common Oral Surgical Issues Include

  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • TMJ disorder
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Fractured jawbone
  • Broken facial bones
  • Cleft lip
  • Sleep apnea

What the Best Orthodontist in Sacramento Treats

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Open bite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Impacted teeth

Oral Surgeon Vs. Orthodontist

Most of the time, patients with jaw and facial deformities will need both oral surgery and orthodontic treatment.

When corrective jaw surgery is necessary, oral surgeons work together with orthodontists to develop comprehensive treatment plans. It’s essential to keep in mind that every individual is different, and so are their treatment needs for the perfect smile.

So, always follow your orthodontist’s treatment recommendations if you want the best results.

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is what some people know as corrective jaw surgery or simply jaw surgery. This procedure serves to correct jaw and lower face conditions related to structure, growth, and airway issues.

Some of those problems include sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, and malocclusion problems arising from skeletal disharmonies. Other patients may also require jaw surgery when they suffer from orthodontic bite problems that cannot be easily treated with braces.

If a patient has other facial imbalances, disharmonies, and asymmetries, they may also require orthognathic surgery. These corrections can help to improve facial aesthetics and self-esteem for the patient.

What Are the Risks of Oral Surgery?

As with any surgery, oral surgeries involve some risks. Even the most common surgery for tooth extractions carries the risk of damaging nerves.

An extreme case involves the damage of facial nerves, leading to loss of feeling or sensibility around the area. However, this is extremely rare.

Common side effects you can expect after undergoing oral surgery are pain, bleeding, swelling, and occasional infections. These side effects are easy to treat and are often quick to disappear. Dental surgeons will usually prescribe antibiotics to prevent and fight off any type of infection.

The Right Treatment for You

No matter what your dental problem, often, the best place to start is with your orthodontist.

Oral surgery is invasive by nature. Orthodontists are more likely to offer conservative treatments to address common dental issues, meaning you will reap the same benefits without sowing as much of your time, money, and energy.

Your orthodontist will have your best interests in mind. If oral surgery is necessary, they will refer you to an oral surgical specialist.

You may also want to ask your general dentist for advice on where to start. Your general dentist knows your oral health history, and they will understand your specific needs and goals.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you need orthodontic treatment, your Sacramento orthodontists at Markham Orthodontics are prepared and excited to help you achieve a beautiful, fully functioning smile.

Read our testimonials page to hear from our satisfied patients, and browse our website to learn more about our dental practice and the services we offer.

To schedule your appointment with one of our top-of-the-line orthodontists or for any questions, contact our friendly staff today at 916-525-8566.

 

brushing with braces

Interdental Brushing for People with Braces

By Orthodontics

Proper brushing techniques are the key to maintaining a healthy smile with braces. Read this blog to learn how interdental brushing can improve your oral health.

Orthodontic treatment can make it difficult for a patient to clean their teeth. This can lead to plaque build-up around the teeth, brackets, and wires. To counteract this, the orthodontist will give specific instructions on how to brush properly to prevent cavities, gum disease, and dental stains. In addition to using a traditional toothbrush, he may also recommend interdental brushing—another highly effective method for maintaining a healthy smile.

An interdental brush (IDB) is a small, specially designed brush used to clean between the teeth or brackets where a traditional toothbrush can’t reach. Those without braces use an interdental brush to clean between the teeth, but orthodontic patients also use them to clean around and between the brackets and wires on their teeth.

Read this blog to learn how to use an interdental brush properly and how interdental brushing is beneficial for people with braces.

How To Use an Interdental Brush

Before purchasing an IDB, be sure to ask your orthodontist which size will work best for your smile. Interdental brushes come in various sizes—correlated by color— to benefit all types of smiles.

Orthodontic patients should use the interdental brush one time per day after brushing with a traditional toothbrush.

To properly utilize an interdental brush, follow these instructions:

  1. Move the appliance up and down on either side of the brackets
  2. Pass the brush along the orthodontic wire when moving from one tooth to another, continuing to move it up and down
  3. Rinse after each use
  4. Replace the brush when it begins to look worn

The Benefits of Interdental Brushing

Aside from helping patients maintain good oral health, an interdental brush provides several benefits, especially when compared to dental floss.

The advantages of interdental brushing include:

  • Easy use
  • Patient compliance
  • Higher motivation
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Safe to use

Often, orthodontists instruct patients on using dental floss to clean between their teeth and brackets. It can be a complicated process that many patients won’t give a second thought about when they leave the orthodontist’s office.

IDBs offers all of the same advantages along with the simplicity of use. Patients with dexterity issues have a greater appreciation for this appliance because there are variations of the brush with a long, bent handle.

brushing with braces

More Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Braces offer so many benefits and provide patients with beautiful smiles! However, braces also require proper care and responsibility. To ensure you have the best orthodontic experience, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard food
  • Avoid foods that require biting into
  • Do eat soft foods like dairy, bread, grains, seafood, cooked vegetables, and fruits
  • Rinse with salt water when you’re mouth feels tender or sore
  • Learn how to fix a loose wire
  • Utilize wax to relieve irritation
  • Wear a mouthguard

If you follow these tips and other specific instructions from your orthodontist, you’re sure to have a great orthodontic experience. Along with having a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, you’ll also have a healthy one!

The Importance Of Oral Hygiene

It doesn’t matter if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or not. Oral hygiene is essential, more so than patients tend to believe. Dental hygiene is vital to an individual’s overall health and well-being.

Untreated oral diseases may increase the risk of adverse health conditions. Thus, maintaining good oral hygiene is important in improving your oral health and overall well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Oral disease is also associated with risk behaviors such as using tobacco and consuming sugary foods and beverages”.

It’s important to think of your mouth as the door that leads to the internal parts of your body. Your mouth also serves as a starting point for detecting early symptoms of systemic diseases. Diabetes, for example, often starts to become noticeable with a mouth lesion or gum infection. Furthermore, patients who have periodontal disease have a greater risk of suffering from heart disease.

Lastly, poor oral hygiene can also be a determining factor in the cause of:

  • Bacterial Pneumonia
  • Infective Endocarditis
  • Cancer
  • Sepsis

As you can see, keeping your teeth and mouth clean can help to have a beautiful smile and prevent many severe health conditions. However, don’t be alarmed; all you need to do is keep a good oral hygiene routine.

How To Keep A Good Oral Hygiene Routine

At Markham Orthodontics, we understand that keeping a good oral hygiene routine can be difficult and maybe even confusing, even more so while you have braces. So, let’s take a look at some things you can do and how to do them correctly.

Remember to Brush Your Teeth

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, taking at least about two minutes to do a great job.
  • Don’t forget to clean your tongue, which harbors bacteria, with a toothbrush or tongue scraper.
  • Use the proper equipment. Always try to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can also use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush if preferred—polish your technique. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Brushing too hard or with hard bristles can hurt your gums.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months

Don’t Forget About Dental Flossing

It doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first. What matters is you use flossing to reach the bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. However, when you floss, keep in mind:

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion.
  • Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion.

Don’t Skip Routine Appointments

Keeping routine appointments is very important. Make sure always to keep the scheduled appointments. During these appointments, your dentists will solve not only current problems but also prevent new ones.

  • Usually, we would recommend you have a cleaning and checkup twice a year or every six months, to be exact.

Contact Our Sacramento Orthodontists Today

At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide excellent, gentle care to patients of all ages. Our goal is to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that they can’t wait to show off.

Call our friendly dental team today.

early orthodontic treatment, woman and orthodontist in chair

Early Orthodontic Treatment and Why You Should Say Yes

By Children's orthodontics, Orthodontics, sacramento braces, sacramento ortho

The best orthodontist Sacramento patients have at their disposal highly recommend early orthodontic treatment. At Markham Orthodontics, we are ready and excited to welcome you to our family and make your smile our priority!

Dr. Markham, Dr. Scott, and the team understand the importance of feeling confident about your smile. That is why we focus on individual patient care. From the moment you walk through our door, we promise you’ll never be another number on a chart or mouth in a chair.

You are important to us, so we want to make sure we can jump into action and help you as soon as we notice an orthodontic issue.

As trusted Orthodontists in Sacramento, in our practice, we will focus on you. And on identifying and drafting an orthodontic plan with your specific needs in mind.

We know that orthodontic treatment is a journey; this is why at Markham Orthodontics, we recommend early orthodontic treatment whenever possible.

What Is Early Orthodontic Treatment?

By definition, early orthodontic treatment refers to orthodontic intervention before the eruption of permanent dentition (except third molars) is complete.

You may also see “Early” treatment, referred to as “interceptive” treatment, which means treatment that is done there still is the presence of baby teeth. Early treatment may be a lifesaver for some patients; their problems could become more severe if untreated over a long period.

The goal of early treatment is to stop the developing problem, treat the cause, and guide the growth of facial and jawbones to provide proper space for your child’s permanent teeth.

Typically, patients will require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to make sure these permanent teeth come in with proper position and alignment. Although, this may not always be necessary. A portion of patients who start early care can avoid second phase orthodontics later on saving much time and resources.

To learn more about early orthodontic treatment, continue reading below or click here and learn about our approach to Orthodontic treatment for all ages.

What Issues Can Be Treated With Early Orthodontic Treatment in Sacramento?

While some orthodontic issues result from our genetic makeup, others develop after accidents, dental disease, and other factors that can be determined during a consultation with your orthodontist. Early orthodontics can help treat most common orthodontic problems, such as:

  • Jaw Malocclusions
    • Underbites. Lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth.
    • Crossbites. this issue arises when the jaw shifts to one side
  • Crowded Teeth
  • Gaps between your teeth
  • Jaw or teeth growth problems

What Are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment in Sacramento?

We know this might make parents worry about their children. Some may not want to put their young kids through early orthodontic treatment, and we understand—however, your Sacramento Orthodontist, Drs. David Markham and Steven Scott, along with team members at Markham Orthodontics, want to remind you that many benefits come with early orthodontic treatment for your child.

Unlike teenage or adult orthodontic care, early treatment doesn’t rely on the use of highly invasive appliances. You should always consult with a dental health specialist about what is required for your child’s case. Still, as you consider that, please take note of the benefits of early orthodontic care.

Some of those benefits include:

Cleaner and Healthier Teeth

Crooked or rotated teeth can prove difficult to maintain properly cleaned. As food particles lodge in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, your toothbrush and dental floss will be less efficient at cleaning any remaining food particles and. This additional challenge can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Correcting Bite Problems

A bad or malaligned bite can cause headaches, facial and jaw pain, and other forms of discomfort for your child. Furthermore, as your child’s jaws remain misaligned, their teeth could also misalign.

Prevents Dental Trauma

Crooked or extra teeth can also stick out, making them a target for unwanted damage should your kid fall while playing. We would also like to remind parents that if their child plays contact sports and follows orthodontic treatment, they should get mouthguards to prevent additional damage during an incident.

Saves Time and Money

Time is money, and leaving an orthodontic problem without treatment could only worsen the problem over time, making it more difficult and more expensive to solve with proper treatment.

Help Reduce the Risk of Speech Problems

Children with bad bites or severe dental issues can develop a lisp or other speech impediments. Correction of these issues with early orthodontic treatment can help prevent or alleviate speech problems. Such specialized care can also help with breathing problems.

Get the Professionals to Help You

Remember that no matter when you start, orthodontic treatment is a journey. We know this, and we’ll be here for you along every step of your treatment path. Markham Orthodontics will support, educate, encourage and celebrate with you. We are here to answer your questions and make you feel comfortable and at home. If you plan to start early orthodontic treatment for your child, click here to learn more about your first office visit with us!

We look forward to giving you the smile of your dreams.

young girl with braces

Children’s Braces: First Phase Orthodontics

By Children's orthodontics, Orthodontics, sacramento ortho

young girl with bracesChildrens Braces

What do you think of when you hear the word orthodontics? Many people envision preteens and teens with big smiles full of chunky metal brackets and wires. But did you know, children can begin orthodontic treatment as young as six years old? The American Dental Association recommends children visit an orthodontist by age seven. Depending on your child’s dental development, he may recommend children’s braces or other interceptive treatments, such as:

  • Headgear
  • Spacers
  • Functional appliances
  • Specialized retainers
  • Expansion appliances
  • Braces on selected teeth

First phase orthodontics is also referred to as early intervention orthodontics. It is typically followed by a second stage of treatment when the child is older. Phase one typically makes phase two much shorter and less complicated.

Reasons for Children’s Braces

Kids need braces and other interceptive treatments for a wide variety of reasons. A pediatric dentist may be the first to notice that your child could need orthodontic treatment. He or she will recommend you visit a Sacramento orthodontist who can decide if treatment is needed, when treatment is necessary, and which devices would be the most beneficial.

Though it may seem like children’s teeth are less important than their permanent teeth, they aren’t! Your child’s first set of teeth will directly affect how their adult teeth develop. Here are some reasons for children’s braces:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • An overbite
  • An underbite

Many times, tooth and jaw problems are inherited, but they also occur as a result of an accident or a bad habit like thumb sucking.

Types of Children’s Braces

You may be surprised to hear that traditional metal braces aren’t the only orthodontic option for children. While traditional braces may be recommended, other options are available. Types of children’s braces include:

  • Ceramic: Instead of metal, brackets can be made from ceramic. This material is more discreet but not as strong as traditional braces.
  • Clear aligners: Invisalign® now makes aligners for children. Talk to your child’s orthodontist to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment.
  • Lingual: This braces option is secured to the back of the teeth, not the front, to be more discreet.

For children, traditional braces are often the best choice. They are extremely effective and require much less responsibility.

Remember, braces aren’t the only orthodontic treatment an orthodontist recommends. In fact, braces might not even be necessary. Talk to your child’s orthodontist about the pros and cons of all treatment options before deciding what’s best for your little one.

Benefits of First Phase Orthodontics

Choosing to treat your child’s dental problems early offers numerous potential benefits, including:

  • Positive jawbone growth
  • Improving the width of the top and bottom arches
  • Reduced need for extracting permanent teeth
  • Reduced or eliminated need for jaw surgery
  • Lower risk of trauma to jutted front teeth
  • Gains space for erupting teeth
  • Improves the position of first molars
  • Improved speech problems
  • Reduces risk of impacted permanent teeth
  • Shortens phase two treatment
  • Improves aesthetics
  • Heightens self-esteem

Visit an Experienced Orthodontist

If your pediatric dentist has recommended your child to an orthodontist, make sure the ortho has years of experience with children’s braces and other interceptive treatments.

Our board-certified orthodontists love serving the families of Auburn, CA, and the surrounding areas. Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott love helping children achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through gentle orthodontic care, but they will only recommend it when it’s beneficial. Call our office today at (916) 924-8970 to schedule a complimentary evaluation.

man with braces

10 Tips for Orthodontic Braces Care

By Braces, Blog, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

man with bracesSo, you’re finally starting your journey to a straighter smile. The braces are on, now what? Fortunately, braces are pretty low maintenance, but there are quite a few things patients can do to make their orthodontic experience more effective and comfortable.

Here are ten tips from our orthodontists at Markham Orthodontics to help you care for your braces!

1. Know what to expect

When you first get braces, it’s perfectly normal for your teeth and mouth to be sore and/or tender. Your lips, cheeks, and gums may also be irritated for up to two weeks while they get used to the braces. Try a saltwater rinse or over-the-counter pain reliever to help reduce the amount of pain or discomfort you feel.

Also, don’t fret if your teeth feel loose. The braces loosen your teeth to move them into the correct positions. Once your teeth are in their proper places, they will be as strong as before!

2. Quit bad habits

When you have braces, you’ll have to choose between breaking your bad habits or breaking your brackets. Biting your fingernails, chewing on pen caps or ice cubes, and using your teeth as tools all pose threats to your brackets and wires.

Continuing these habits can lead to a costly orthodontic emergency.

3. Brush often

Orthodontic patients should brush after every meal to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes and to reach the front, back, and top of each tooth.

Ask your orthodontist about the best toothpaste and toothbrush for your teeth and braces.

4. Floss

Your orthodontist can also help you choose the right type of floss and provide a floss threader to make the process simpler. We recommend flossing after each meal, but we also know that takes a lot of time and effort.

Make it a habit to at least floss every evening so food and germs don’t attack your teeth and gums. We want your teeth to be just as healthy after braces as they were before!

5. Eat the right foods

When you first get braces, stick to eating soft foods to avoid causing more pain and discomfort to your mouth. However, even when your mouth is healed, it’s best to eat foods that won’t damage your braces or get stuck between the brackets.

6. Avoid the wrong foods

Here are some foods to avoid while wearing braces:

  • Sticky foods like caramels, gum, and Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Chewy foods like bagels, beef jerky, and granola bars
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn, chips, and nuts
  • Foods that require biting into like corn on the cob, apples, and carrots

7. Wear a Mouthguard

Mouthguards protect the teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports. An orthodontist can create a custom mouth guard to provide you with the best, most comfortable protection. Be sure to properly clean and care for the mouth guard.

8. Use dental wax

While your mouth is getting acclimated to the braces, dental wax will be your new best friend. Simply place the wax over the brackets and wires that are irritating your gums to get some relief. This will also prevent blisters and sores from developing.

9. Wear rubber bands appropriately

Rubber bands, also called inter-arch rubber bands and elastics, are used to correct malocclusion. Be sure to wear the elastics exactly as your orthodontist has instructed. Typically, patients are required to wear them 24 hours a day. The rubber bands should be changed at least three times a day since they will lose elasticity.

10. Know when to call your orthodontist

Contact your orthodontist if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain after receiving braces
  • Loose wires and bands
  • Damage to the braces from a sports accident
  • A broken elastic hook
  • If you run out of bands or wax

Of course, always contact your dentist or orthodontists in any dental emergency. Our orthodontic team is here to serve you whenever you need our expert care.

To learn more about how we can help you achieve a beautiful, aligned smile, call (530) 823-8771 today.

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