What Is An Orthodontic Dentist?

ortho1Most people go to a general dentist for professional cleanings, yearly exams, extractions, or fillings. There are actually nine fields of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) including orthodontics. Each field specializes in a different aspect of oral or oral-facial treatment. Endodontics, for instance, focuses on diseases of the tooth pulp and surrounding areas. Periodontics focuses on diseased gingival tissue. Today we discuss the field of orthodontic dentistry. What is an orthodontic dentist?


Orthodontic dentistry focuses on correcting the alignment of your teeth and jaws. Crooked teeth and misaligned jaws can cause future problems that can lead to tooth loss. For instance, crooked teeth are more difficult to clean and floss which can result in tooth decay. If the bacterial plaque that causes decay cannot be removed it can lead to periodontal disease which is the major reason for tooth loss. A misaligned bite can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder which can result in headaches, neck aches, and even shoulder and back pain. The benefits of orthodontic treatment include but also reach far beyond an esthetic smile.


Orthodontics can treat the following conditions:

  • Overbite: Also referred to as buck teeth when the upper teeth stick too far out over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite: When the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth.
  • Open bite: The back teeth don’t meet when biting down.
  • Crossbite
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Spaces between teeth


There are orthodontic appliances that move your teeth (braces), retrain muscles, and help guide the proper growth of your jaws. Some appliances are fixed while others are removable. Fixed appliances include braces, space maintainers, and appliances to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Removable appliances include retainers, aligners, lip and cheek bumpers, and headgear. If you or a member of your family needs orthodontic treatment, Dr. Cain can meet your needs.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.