What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the treatment of irregularities with the teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are qualified dentists who work to correct crooked teeth, realign jaws, and generally get everything looking lovely and straight.

Orthodontists typically use braces and other orthodontic appliances attached to the teeth to slowly pull them into alignment. It’s estimated that between 30-50% of children require braces to straighten their teeth.

However, orthodontics isn’t just for kids – there is a huge branch of the subject dedicated to adults. Invisible braces have boomed in popularity over recent years, as adults who were worried about visible appliances in the past now feel comfortable about getting their teeth realigned.

What Services Do Orthodontists Offer?

Orthodontists have a lot of responsibility, but what services do they actually perform on a day-to-day basis? Here are a few of the most common ones:

Malocclusion Treatment

Malocclusion occurs when a patient’s bite is not properly aligned. This means their top teeth do not fit correctly with their bottom teeth when they bite down. Malocclusion is a very common issue and can be effectively treated by a professional orthodontist.

Dentists will use various techniques to treat malocclusion, but the most common is a removable appliance. Many patients who need teeth straightening will have an initial removable appliance to treat their malocclusion.

Fixed Appliances (Traditional Braces)

A fixed appliance is the most well-known orthodontic treatment. Fixed appliances are the most efficient way to straighten misaligned teeth and are used very regularly by dentists.

The most important aspect of a fixed appliance treatment is the maintaining of good oral hygiene. Cleaning in and around the appliance brackets can be difficult, so it’s essential that an orthodontist teaches their client how to stay hygienic and prevent tooth decay.

Removable Appliances

An orthodontist will typically use removable appliances at some point within a treatment plan.

Removable appliances can treat problems such as malocclusion (find out more above) or even straighten teeth directly.


Following orthodontic courses, patients are nearly always required to wear a retainer. This is to maintain the straightness and shape of the teeth achieved using the appliances. Without a retainer, teeth can quickly return to their misaligned state.

Retainers come in a variety of forms. These can be removable, such as clear aligners, or fixed to the back of the teeth. Most dentists will have their own preferred method for retaining, but the patient will ultimately choose.

Orthodontic Surgery

Dentists that have completed advanced orthodontic training may also be able to perform dental surgery. These procedures are used to correct dental and facial irregularities or to assist in an ongoing orthodontic plan.

For example, a patient might have severe malocclusion that cannot be treated with a standard appliance. In this case, jaw surgery could be an option that an orthodontist decides to pursue.

Young woman getting dental treatment. dental clinic.

How Do I Find An Orthodontist Near Me?

The best way to find a great local orthodontist is to use our handy search tool. At The Dental Register, we want to make sure that everyone can get access to amazing dentistry, wherever they are.
Whether you’re looking for orthodontists in your area or dental surgeons, you can be sure to find them with our search tool.

Simply type your location into the search box, select the dental service you’re looking for, and you’ll be able to see your local options in seconds. Finding the best dental specialists has truly never been easier!

Contact Us

    Frequently asked Questions

    Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether to see an orthodontist or a regular dental practitioner.

    In general, if you already know that you want to get your teeth straightened and want to start the process as soon as possible, then it’s probably worth contacting an orthodontist immediately.

    However, general dentists have a good understanding of orthodontics, and many might also specialise in that area. If you’re not certain that orthodontics is what you need and would like to get some advice, then we’d recommend getting an appointment at your regular dental practice first.

    Private orthodontists have a reputation for charging very high prices for their services. Paying for private orthodontic treatment will most likely set you back thousands of pounds.

    This covers the orthodontic appliances used throughout the process, as well as the treatment and appointments that you’ll receive from the orthodontist.
    Of course, you don’t have to pay for orthodontics – the NHS offers some fantastic orthodontic treatment options for free. The downsides of using a public service are that the waiting lists are often quite long, and patients who want purely cosmetic orthodontics aren’t always eligible for the schemes.

    Many people ask themselves this question when they are faced with the drawbacks of an NHS treatment. The truth is that the value of private orthodontics changes from person to person. For some, it will be a way to avoid long NHS waitlists, but for others, the advantages might not be worth the extra expense.

    We’d recommend taking some time to weigh up the pros and cons of each option for yourself. This way, you can be sure that you’re making the right decision.

    Visiting orthodontists is by far the best way to get teeth straightened. Professional orthodontists have access to all of the latest equipment, included fixed and removable appliances, that they can use to give you the smile you’ve always dreamt of.

    There are loads of cheap, over-the-counter products that claim to be able to straighten your teeth at home. Although some of these devices can be effective, the results are never as secure and long-lasting as with orthodontists.

    Additionally, dentists put a big emphasis on oral health during a treatment, which is extremely important.