What is an Orthodontist?

Dr. Deborah Himelhoch of Smiles in Framingham has some information to consider when looking for an orthodontist near Wayland, MA.

An orthodontist is a dentist that has undergone special training to treat facial and dental anomalies like malocclusions (an abnormality in the alignment of the upper and/or lower teeth), similar to medical doctors that choose to specialize in fields like neurology and endocrinology. Something that many people don’t know is that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists are qualified dentists who undergo extra years of university-based study and then gain extensive experience in an orthodontics residency program.

What kind of problems do orthodontists treat?

Orthodontists help to correct patients’ dental malocclusions, including underbites and overbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowded teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Other problems with the function of the jaw should also be treated by an orthodontist.

Treatment plans

The Smiles in Framingham team employs many approaches in the treatment of dental malocclusions; the most popular being braces. The four most common types of braces used are:

  1. traditional metal braces
  2. ceramic braces
  3. lingual braces
  4. clear plastic aligners

 

  1. Traditional metal braces are the most common form of treatment by orthodontists. These braces are comprised of metal brackets that are affixed to the front of the teeth. They are then banded together with a thermosensitive wire which slowly pulls them into their intended position over a prescribed period of time.
  2. Ceramic braces are just like metal braces, but are clear or tooth-colored so that they appear to blend in with the patient’s teeth.
  3. Lingual braces are metal braces that are adhered to the back of the teeth. This makes them completely hidden from view, but they are much more expensive (due to the difficult adhesion procedure).
  4. Clear aligners like the Invisalign system use sets of completely clear plastic trays, which a patient can remove to eat, brush, and floss. They are almost invisible, and they are a popular treatment method for image-conscious teens and adults.

I am being treated by an orthodontist. Why do I need to visit a dentist, too?

Visiting your orthodontist is NOT a substitute for regular dental checkups.You should visit your dentist at regular intervals during the time that you are receiving treatment by an orthodontist near Wayland, MA. It’s important to keep good dental hygiene a part of your daily routine. It will keep your teeth healthy and clean and will reduce your overall  treatment time.

It’s important to practice good oral health care habits like conscientious brushing and flossing. If you have non-removable braces, food and plaque can become stuck between your gums and teeth, under the wires connecting your braces, and between the brackets on your teeth. An important tip from Dr. Deborah Himelhoch is: to lessen the risk of cavities, reduce the consumption of foods that will cause damage to your teeth (like candy or soda).

The team at Smiles in Framingham and Dr. Deborah Himelhoch are here to help you get the brightest, straightest, and healthiest teeth and mouth. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call them at: (508) 872-0555


To all my wonderful patients and their families:

 

The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.

 

Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.

 

Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.

 

I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.

 

Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.

 

Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.

 

My very best wishes to all of you,

 

Dr. Deborah Himelhoch