What is an Orthodontist?

What is an Orthodontist?

Dr. Heidi Harman of H2O Orthodontics has some information to consider when looking for an orthodontist near River Market, KC.

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 H2O Orthodontics 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 River Market, KC. 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. Heidi Harman 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 H2O Orthodontics and Dr. Heidi Harman 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: (816) 326-8944.


Have You Ever Wondered How Orthodontics Works?

Orthodontia may seem extremely complicated and sometimes overwhelming for some patients in Midtown, KC, but H2O Orthodontics patients are treated to feel at ease throughout the entire treatment process.

We’ve created this cheat sheet that will help to answer any questions you may have about orthodontia in Midtown, KC:

  1. At what age should I or my child seek orthodontic treatment?

Dr. Heidi Harman says that this question has no right answer; every individual has a different set of teeth and different needs for orthodontic treatment in Midtown, KC. H2O Orthodontics specializes in providing treatment to both children and adults. H2O Orthodontics suggests a childhood examination at around age seven. This is the age when most of our teeth have all grown, and it allows Dr. Harman and the team at H2O Orthodontics to stay on top of any orthodontic issues before they become big issues!

  1. How do I know which kind of braces are right for me?

The answer to this is simple; you don’t have to know! When you come to our orthodontic office in Midtown, KC for an appointment, Dr. Harman and the H2O Orthodontics team will examine your mouth and evaluate what will need to be done in terms of length and complexity of the orthodontic treatment. Dr. Harman will work with you to decide which kind of braces best suits your lifestyle. So don’t worry, H2O Orthodontics will help figure out what is right for you and will give you the proper guidance for your orthodontics in Midtown, KC.

  1. Can I just get Invisalign from my dentist?

Recently, many dentists in Midtown, KC have started to offer orthodontic treatments with Invisalign. While working with your general dentist may seem like a more convenient option, it is a much better idea to get Invisalign from H2O Orthodontics. Dr. Heidi Harman is a certified orthodontist, which means straightening and realigning teeth is her specialty. Unlike a dentist, Dr. Harman has seen many cases and treated all kinds of patients with Invisalign and other systems. This experience allows for better accuracy and outstanding results. Plus, the H2O Orthodontics staff is here to help you integrate the Invisalign system into your lifestyle and make your orthodontics experience in Midtown, KC as enjoyable as possible.


Do you have more questions? Do you want to learn more about orthodontics? Do you just want somewhere to get started? We look forward to helping you pave the way to a better and brighter smile! H2O Orthodontics in Midtown, KC is happy to help. To set up an appointment or for more information, call us at (913) 782-7223.