dental checkup

You may be waiting for the day to come when your dentist finally gives you the green light to see an orthodontist. After all, they are the ones who are supposed to refer you for orthodontic treatment, right? As you sit in the dentist’s chair, you are wondering why no one is discussing the problems with the alignment of your teeth or why you may be having trouble chewing.

It may be time to take matters into your own hands. Are you asking yourself, “Does my dentist need to refer me to an orthodontist?”

You Don’t Need to Wait for a Dental Referral

It is generally not required to have a referral from your dentist for you or your child to start orthodontic treatment, especially since a referral may never come. Not all dentists will issue a referral to see an orthodontist, so if you are waiting for them to do this, you may be waiting for quite a while. This may cause you to begin treatment at a much later age than recommended, which can cause orthodontic treatment to be more intense and last for a longer duration, depending on your issue.

It’s best to take notice of certain signs and symptoms that may indicate orthodontic treatment is needed. These include:

  • Speech difficulties
  • Biting and chewing problems
  • Noticeable crooked teeth or bite issues
  • Complaints of pain or discomfort

If you or your child is displaying any of these signs, it’s best to get these checked out, so that if orthodontic treatment is needed, it can start promptly.

The Best Time to See an Orthodontist

It is recommended that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. This can help alleviate certain problems or even prevent issues from arising altogether when patients start at a young age. This time is perfect to begin treatment, since not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and the bones of the jaw have yet to set fully. Once you get into adulthood, fixing orthodontic problems tends to become slightly more complicated.

Your Next Steps

The bottom line is this…don’t wait for your dentist to refer you for orthodontic treatment. Depending on your dentist, they may not refer at the appropriate time and you may lose valuable time that you could have spent correcting your smile. If you notice some symptoms arising or if you’re unsure about your smile, schedule a consultation with a trusted orthodontist, so they can guide you in the right direction with your treatment.

Depending on your issue, you may be instructed to start treatment with braces or Invisalign immediately. This is especially important for young patients who may need two phase orthodontic treatment to correct their issues. Remember, the longer you wait to begin orthodontic treatment, the longer your treatment may last. So, tackle this now and be on your way to fixing your smile.

The team at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists is ready to help craft a winning treatment plan for your smile! Call (843) 4-BRACES to begin today.