Bring Out the
Best in Your Smile
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. A beautiful, healthy smile can transform your life and we know the route to take to help you achieve it. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a complimentary consultation with our El Dorado Hills orthodontist today!
WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIST?
An orthodontist specializes in preventing and treating malocclusion, or an improper bite. Orthodontists complete rigorous additional training following dental school to learn the intricacies of straightening teeth and guiding facial development for a stellar smile.
Orthodontic treatment can address a variety of cases including spacing, crowding, overjet teeth, underbites, crossbites and openbites. We have treatment options to successfully remedy these issues in a way that complements your lifestyle and needs.
Orthodontist vs. Dentist
An orthodontist and a dentist both deal with smiles and play important roles in helping you achieve outstanding oral health. However, this can make things a little confusing, especially since, sometimes, you’ll see general dentists offering treatments like Invisalign®. While orthodontists and dentists work hand in hand, the differences boil down to our training and areas of focus.
Dentists are generalists, while orthodontists are specialists. So your dentist is on par with your family doctor or general practitioner, and your orthodontist is more like an orthopedist or any other specialist who focuses on one area.
When should you see an orthodontist vs. a dentist?
Visit your dentist if you need:
- Preventative services like a cleaning, oral cancer screening, routine exam, dental x-rays, sealants, fluoride treatment, etc.
- Restorative and cosmetic procedures, including fillings, dental bridges, crowns, and teeth whitening
- A referral for speciality treatment, such as orthodontics, oral surgery, or endodontics
Dentists are concerned with your overall oral health.
Visit an orthodontist:
- To have a child’s dental and facial growth and development evaluated at age 7
- For the diagnosis and treatment of misaligned teeth and jaws
- For any teeth-straightening treatments, including metal braces, clear braces, lingual braces, or clear aligners
- To receive dental appliances, such as orthodontic retainers, palatal expanders, Herbst appliances, and habit-breaking appliances
- If you experience an issue that could impact or be caused by the jaw, teeth, or your facial structure, including jaw or TMJ pain, excessive wear of the teeth, prolonged oral habits, mouth breathing, and snoring
An orthodontist like Dr. Jeff specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating malocclusions (bad bites) using appliances such as Invisalign and braces. Beyond that, an orthodontist only does orthodontics, making us the most qualified to provide comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
The other main difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is our training. We both receive our doctorate degree in dental surgery or dental medicine from dental school. After graduating, a dentist usually begins practicing right away. An orthodontist, however, completes two to three years of speciality training in an accredited orthodontic residency program in order to receive either a master’s degree and/or certificate in orthodontics. In fact, Dr. Jeff spent over 7,000 hours in his residency alone learning about orthodontics!
Do You Have a Bad Bite?
If you have a normal bite, your teeth are straight and the upper and lower arch come together properly. If you have malocclusion (a bad bite), on the other hand, the teeth and/or jaws are misaligned, and orthodontic treatment is usually necessary in order to achieve optimal function, health, and aesthetics.
Even if your teeth look pretty straight, you can still have an issue with your bite. As a certified specialist in orthodontics, Dr. Jeff has the training and expertise to identify problems, no matter how subtle or complex. He can then use appliances like braces or Invisalign to create a stable, healthy bite and a beautiful smile.
While the only way to receive an accurate diagnosis is to visit Dr. Jeff for a consultation, these are some of the common signs of a bad bite that could indicate the need for treatment:
- Gaps or spaces between teeth
- Crooked, twisted, overlapping, or crowded teeth
- Facial asymmetry
- Teeth that stick out (protruding teeth)
- Upper teeth that are too far forward or almost completely overlap the lower teeth when the jaws are closed
- A space or opening between the top and bottom teeth when the mouth is closed
- Some or all of the lower teeth sitting in front of the upper teeth
- Jaw pain, TMJ pain, headaches, and neck aches
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Excessive wear of teeth
- Difficulty biting into or chewing foods
- Problems producing or clearly articulating certain speech sounds
- Mouth breathing, snoring, or sleep apnea
Aside from these signs of a bad bite, things like the baby teeth falling out prematurely or oral habits, including prolonged thumb sucking, tongue thrust, or finger sucking, should also be evaluated by an orthodontist. If you think you or your child has a bite issue, schedule a complimentary consultation at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics today!
The Orthodontic Treatment Options at Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics
Now that you know some of the signs of a bad bite, you might be wondering how we fix it. Dr. Jeff and our team offer a variety of modern orthodontic treatment options for kids, teens, and adults at our practice, including:
Traditional Metal Braces
Clear, Ceramic Braces
InBrace® Invisible Braces
Orthodontic Appliances for Early Interceptive Treatment
What Our Patients Are Saying
As a general dentist, I think very highly of Dr. Kwong. His office is always great with communication to keep us informed about how treatment is progressing. All of my patients who I send there always have nothing but great things to say about Dr. Kwong and his staff! He always takes his time with the parents and patients and is passionate about what he does.Angel Sun
I had a wonderful experience at Jeffery Kwong's. I'm 17 years old and had been in braces twice before. My teeth had shifted quite a bit because I didn't wear my retainers and was too young to understand their importance. So, I started my Invisalign treatment. It was the easiest process I had ever experienced regarding dental work. Dr. Kwong and his staff where always kind and efficient. They created a comfortable environment for all ages and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to improve their smile.Brooke Martinez
Dr. Kwong is friendly, professional, and invested in the well being of his patients. Our teenage daughter loves the care she receives, and the entire staff is welcoming, helpful and always there to offer support. Dr Kwong is also an active member of our community, involved in the school district and giving back in many ways. If you're looking for a great experience, choose JKO!Cherish Costello
I cannot recommend Dr. Kwong enough. I have been going to this office for the last 12 years. The entire time Dr. Kwong himself and the staff have been extremely helpful and kind. They ensure that you feel right at home! This is honestly the best place to go if you are in need of orthodontia work.Austin Erck
Dr. Kwong you are a fantastic orthodontist and a wonderful, caring person! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the emergency care you gave Marco this weekend! You went above and beyond! Feeling so grateful this morning!Julie Smith DeZordo