Skip to content
Qu’est-ce qu’un orthodontiste

All About Orthodontics

Dental health is an important element of overall well-being that influences your smile, your self-confidence and your everyday comfort. Skilled orthodontists play a vital role in maintaining and promoting optimal oral health.

But what exactly is an orthodontist, and how do they differ from a general dentist? Our Montreal orthodontist has created this comprehensive guide to answer all your questions. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating field and discover how orthodontics can improve your smile and confidence.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental health specialist who diagnoses, prevents, and corrects dental misalignment, and evaluates issues related to dental malocclusion.

In addition to enhancing the aesthetics of a harmonious smile, orthodontics contributes to better masticatory function and overall oral health.

Orthodontics training and qualifications

After graduating with a degree in dental surgery, a dentist who wishes to become an orthodontist must continue their studies in a dedicated program for specialists. This additional training typically lasts from 3 to 4 years, and focuses on facial growth and development, biomechanics, and advanced orthodontic treatment techniques.

Difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

While both orthodontists and dentists aim to promote their patients’ oral health, they possess different areas of expertise and training, and play distinct roles in dental care.

Areas of expertise

All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. This major distinction is based on specialization: while dentists provide general care for all aspects of oral health (such as cavities, scaling and general diagnostics), orthodontists focus, among other things, on correcting tooth alignment and malocclusion problems using specific orthodontic appliances.

Additional training

After graduating from dental school, orthodontists continue their training for 3 to 4 years in an orthodontic specialization program. This additional training equips orthodontists with in-depth skills and knowledge beyond what general dentists know, related to how to guide jaw growth in children, correct malocclusions, and align teeth.

Treatments offered by orthodontists

Orthodontists offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments and procedures designed to correct dental misalignments and jaw problems.

These procedures not only improve the appearance of patients’ smiles, but also contribute to better oral health and optimal functionality. Here are some of the most common orthodontic treatments:


Orthodontic braces are devices attached to the teeth and connected by a wire that gradually move the teeth into the desired alignment.

There are different types of braces, from traditional metal braces to more discreet ceramic braces.

Orthodontic braces are effective in correcting a wide range of malocclusions, improving bite and making teeth easier to clean.

Invisible braces (Aligners)

Clear aligners are transparent, removable, and custom-designed orthodontic appliances that help restore the alignment of your teeth. They need to be changed regularly, as prescribed by your orthodontist.

Aligners offer an aesthetic, less conspicuous alternative to traditional braces, while enabling easy, effective dental hygiene.

Treatment of jaw problems (TMJ disorders)

Orthodontists also treat malocclusion problems via braces or corrective jaw surgery, in collaboration with maxillofacial surgeons.

These treatments aim to improve masticatory function, speech and facial aesthetics.

When to consult an orthodontist

The decision to consult an orthodontist is an important step towards improving your oral health and smile. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly when the time is right to make an appointment.

Here are some common guidelines and tips to help you decide when to see a dental specialist.

Ideal age for a first orthodontic visit

  • Children: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by an orthodontist as early as age 7. At this age, certain orthodontic problems, such as overlapping teeth or malocclusions, start to become apparent, even if the child still has some of their baby teeth.
  • Adolescents and adults: It’s never too late to consult an orthodontist. Adolescents and adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment to correct dental problems and improve their smile.

5 signs to watch for

  1. Overlapping or spaced teeth: If you notice that your teeth are too close together, overlapping or, on the contrary, spaced too far apart, this may indicate a need for orthodontic treatment.
  2. Bite problems: Uneven bites, such as crossbites, overbites or underbites, can cause chewing and speech problems, and should be evaluated by an orthodontist.
  3. Difficulty chewing or speaking: If you or your child have difficulty chewing properly or speaking clearly because of the position of your teeth or jaw, a consultation may be necessary.
  4. Abnormal wear of teeth: Uneven wear of the teeth may be a sign of malocclusion requiring orthodontic adjustment.
  5. Jaw pain or discomfort: Persistent jaw pain or discomfort may indicate jaw problems that could benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Trust the orthodontists at Orthodontie Côte-des-Neiges

Choosing the right orthodontist is a step toward achieving the smile you’ve always dreamed of and maintaining excellent oral health. At Orthodontie Côte-des-Neiges, we understand the importance of this decision. We use state-of-the-art technology and take a personalized approach to orthodontic treatment, contributing to our reputation as “leaders” in our field.

Our highly qualified and experienced team, led by Dr. Tram-Anh Nguyen, provides exceptional care within a welcoming and comfortable environment.

At our Côte-des-Neiges clinic, we believe that every patient deserves a bright smile. That’s why we invite you to book a consultation to assess your specific needs and discuss the best treatment plan for you. Whether you’re considering traditional braces, clear aligners, or need a more complex treatment, contact us for an appointment today!