Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry. The dental specialists who are educated and trained to correct misaligned teeth and improper bite patterns are known as orthodontists.
Accredited orthodontists have earned their dentistry degree and completed an advanced postdoctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the specialty of orthodontics.
During orthodontic treatment, teeth—and sometimes entire facial structures—are permanently changed. Therefore, it is important to have the treatment appropriately and properly completed by an orthodontist. Orthodontists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
Members of the American Association of Orthodontists, and its constituents such as the Southern Association of Orthodontists, must be accredited orthodontists. Usually these members limit their treatments to orthodontics and treat both children and adults.
By choosing an orthodontist that is an SAO member, you are ensuring your orthodontist has completed an advanced postdoctoral course of at least two academic years in the specialty of orthodontics.