Jeune femme qui sourit en regardant un miroir dans une clinique dentaire

When Orthodontic Dental Care Services Are Required

18 January 2024 | Dr. Frédéric Lavoie

When should you consult an orthodontist rather than a dentist? The two professions are often confused or considered interchangeable. That’s why we often mistakenly write or say “orthodentist” rather than “orthodontist”. That said, it’s important to recognize the situations in which consultation with an orthodontist is required.

Orthodontic treatment options can help prevent many problems. From permanent teeth extraction to gum disease, the scope of this profession is vast. Let’s explore this dental specialty today.

What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontists are health professionals who, like general dentists, have studied dentistry. However, orthodontists pursue additional training to specialize in the field of dental health. They specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems relating to the growth and development of teeth and jaws. So when we talk about orthodontics, we’re also talking about dentofacial orthopedics.

Orthodontists use their in-depth knowledge to treat malocclusion and jaw deformities. The term malocclusion refers to problems such as crooked teeth, incorrect occlusion and other dental irregularities.

The Most Common Reasons for Consultation

You may need to see an orthodontist for a number of reasons related to your oral health or the aesthetic appearance of your face. The same applies if the position of the teeth and jaws in your mouth is not optimal. Some of the most common reasons are :

Bite or Malocclusion Problems 

The term “bite” is used in dentistry to describe the closing of teeth inside the mouth. To ensure optimal occlusion, the upper and lower teeth must fit together correctly as the jaw closes. A perfect bite enables the mouth to function and fulfill its role effectively.

Bite problems, also known as bad bite or malocclusions, occur when teeth don’t fit together properly. Poor dental occlusion can cause chewing and speech problems, as well as premature wear of the teeth. Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea, can even occur in cases of severe malocclusion.

Teeth Alignment and Smile Aesthetics

Teeth that are misaligned, crooked or abnormally spaced can cause their share of problems. In particular, they can be difficult to clean, which can lead to cavities and, in extreme cases, tooth decay. To correct the position of teeth, or the space between them, an orthodontist may recommend the use of braces. Traditional metal braces and Invisalign are two examples of treatment plans commonly used for this purpose in orthodontics.

Inadequate size or position of facial bone structures can also affect balance, harmony and facial aesthetics. In the long term, this can unfortunately lead to self-esteem problems. That’s why many orthodontists recommend that this type of problem be treated promptly.

Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular joint problems can cause jaw pain and frequent headaches. They can also make it difficult to open or close the mouth. These problems are usually examined by an orthodontist, who can then recommend appropriate solutions tailored to the situation.

Several types of orthodontic treatment can correct these problems. We encourage you to make an appointment with an orthodontist to find out more.

Make an Appointment With an Orthodontist Near You

Your oral health is not something to be taken lightly. That’s why it’s important to consult an orthodontist whose qualifications are recognized by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC). That way, you can be sure of safe treatment by a qualified dental specialist.


More and more adults are consulting orthodontists to improve their oral health and facial aesthetics. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact our orthodontist, Dr. F. Lavoie. We’ll conduct a personalized assessment of your condition and provide you with customized advice. Schedule an appointment with us today to get the orthodontic care you need!