What is an Orthodontist?
Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, jaw alignment and growth and the straightness of teeth.
Orthodontists attend a 2-3 year residency program after becoming a dentist. These years are spent mastering the nuances of tooth movement, growth and development and malocclusion so they can best treat people of all ages.
Think of it this way. You have your primary care doctor, they look at your body as a whole. When you have a problem, you go see your primary care doctor. But they are not specialists in, say bones. If you are having shoulder pain, you would be referred to a specialists, an orthopedist. Or if you are having vision problems, you would be referred to an opthamologist. The specialists have gone through additional residency programs to fine-tune their skills particular to their field. Much like dental specialists.
Dr. Hough attended a 2 year program after graduating dental school to receive his certificate of orthodontic specialty. He was one of 8 students selected for the orthodontic residency program, a program that was also focused on treating TMJ.