Looking For an orthodontist in El Paso?
El Paso is one of the most western cities in the state of Texas and serves as the county seat of El Paso County. It’s relatively large with a population of approximately 682,000. That means it’s the 22nd largest city by population in the entire U.S.
It’s known for being a rather progressive city in the state of Texas and is home to the University of Texas, El Paso. The student population is large and is only overshadowed by the powerhouse that is the University of Texas, Austin. It sits on the Rio Grande River and is almost directly across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The city’s prominence and a university town and a border town have made it the common topic of mainstream media. While Juarez is known to be an extremely dangerous part of Mexico, the same is not true for El Paso. El Paso has one of the lowest crime rates of anywhere in Texas. These distinct differences in violence between two cities separated by mere miles frequently the topic of discussion.
El Paso is also often referenced when speaking about the Paso del Norte, or the Borderplex, an international regional area. This area forms a triangle between El Paso, the nearby Ciudad Juarez, and the city of Las Cruces in the state of New Mexico. This triangle of cities is commonly referred to when speaking on diversity. The entire region is home to more than two and a half million people and is the largest bilingual and binational workforce that can be found in the Western Hemisphere.
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What Makes El Paso Unique
El Paso is unique in its diversity as well as a position as a progressive university town found on the border of a conservative state.
Much of the population of El Paso is Hispanic and most of the locals are bilingual. This local population combined with the university workforce and students make for a vibrant and beautiful population that is incredibly inclusive and welcoming.
Beyond diversity, El Paso is also known for having a fairly strong federal and military presence. While El Paso is generally a safe city, the nearby city of Ciudad Juarez is known for being a hotspot of illegal activity. Both the military and federal agents are often working with the Mexican government from El Paso.
Other military presences include Fort Bliss, the largest military training area in the U.S and one of the largest complexes in the U.S Army. A Drug Enforcement Agency division, an intelligence center, and a border patrol unit are also stationed within the city.
While it may seem extensive, El Paso ranked in the top three safest large cities in the U.S between 1997 and 2014.
The History of El Paso
El Paso was settled on by Native Americans for several thousand years before it became the city we know it as today. The city remained generally unaffected by both the Texas Revolution as well as the Mexican-American War. After the conclusion of the Mexican-American War, it was ceded to the U.S and start slowly growing.
The Great Depression and World War II hit the city of El Paso hard, but the city was able to bounce back after losing a substantial amount of its population.
El Paso remained relatively quaint until recent history. On August 3, 2019, a mass shooting and terrorist attacked was committed by a white supremacist which killed 22 people and left 24 other inured. It’s one of the worst mass shootings to have ever occurred in U.S history.
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At their core, an orthodontist is a doctor that specializes in straightening teeth. This is not to be confused with a dentist, whose practice is much broader. Dentists focus on jaws, teeth, gums, nerves, and the mouth. Orthodontists strictly focus on straightening teeth.
In other words, all orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists. Dentists will need additional training and certification to achieve the title of an orthodontist.
Here are some things an orthodontist may be qualified to diagnose that a standard dentist would not be able to:
- Open bites
- Overcrowded mouths
- Misaligned teeth and jaws
Not only can orthodontist diagnose these issues, but they can treat them as well. If you’re concerned about one of the above-listed ailments, visiting an orthodontist will be your best bet.
Orthodontists have a broad job as correcting and straightening teeth may not be as straightforward as you imagine.
For example, if there is a gap in your teeth, an orthodontist is going to want to pull them closer together as soon as possible. This is because a gap in your teeth, known as diastema, will grow larger and larger as time goes on. If the problem isn’t corrected sooner rather than later, your teeth can then move in the way of the others and cause a domino effect to your mouth.
On the other hand, there is a fine line of symmetry that must be achieved in the mouth. If there are too many teeth in the mouth, or teeth lean inward, having teeth that are too close together can be just as detrimental to the health of your mouth as being too far apart.
An orthodontist has many solutions to straighten your teeth. Options range from the famous braces to recliners and other adjustments to your mouth. Braces are bands that surround the entirety, or a specific section, of your teeth. The brackets bond together and are slightly tightened to help correct the angle of your teeth slowly over time.
It’s an effective process that helps millions of people across the world. However, it does work relatively slowly. To avoid injury and excessive pain, braces will straighten teeth over many months. This period an even extend to as much as a year or more.
In the end, having teeth that aren’t straightened is bad for the long term health of your mouth, so it’s important to see an orthodontist as soon as possible when you realize there is a problem.
Finding the right orthodontist for you can be tricky. There are several qualifiers for a dentist to become an orthodontist and many factors to consider when choosing an orthodontist that is right for you. Here are the things you should look for in an orthodontist.
When you’re looking to pick an orthodontist, the first thing you’ll want to know is if they’re certified and educated. To start, all orthodontists must fire complete standard educational requirements for a dentist. At a baseline, all orthodontists are also dentists.
However, before an orthodontist can begin practicing, they’ll need to continue their education and receive a degree from a medical school that certifies them as an orthodontist. Typically, they’ll need to receive at least two to three years of additional classes and training before they can become an orthodontist.
If you’re wondering if there’s a way to check if an orthodontist is qualified, there is! Here is the website for the American Association of Orthodontists. You can use this to check if your orthodontist is qualified. Only orthodontists who have completed their degrees through a university system can be a part of this association.
How Does the Office Look?
When visiting an orthodontist or dentist, take a look at how the office and the building look in general. Is it clean? Do the employees look happy?
These are all telltale signs of how the orthodontist runs their practice. If something seems off or the building and office look in poor condition, you can bet that you’ll likely receive poor service and work.
Don’t be afraid to have a meet with a potential orthodontist to discuss what you’re looking for in an orthodontist. This can be a great time to look at how they run their practice.
Have They Gone Digital?
This has more than one meaning. You’re going to want an orthodontist who is not only up to date with digital trends within the industry but also digital in terms of how they run their services.
Do they have a website? Can you book appointments online or contact the office virtually? These are all helpful features that allow you to work and communicate with the office better.
Beyond how they communicate with their customers, orthodontists must be keeping up with the digital age in terms of the equipment they use in the office. For example, you want your orthodontist to use digital x-rays instead of traditional film x-rays. This is because digital x-rays use only half the radiation when compared to their film counterparts.
Take Note of Technology
Orthodontists, and dentists in general, should be keeping up to date with the latest technology that is offered to their industry.
Do they have a 3-D printer and scanner? 3-D printers allow orthodontists to make electronic models and replicas of teeth. These can be incredibly helpful to use instead of using traditional molds for record-keeping purposes and structures that are given for your teeth like Invisalign.
Other technology to look for includes a soft laser-tissue and a cone beam x-ray machine.
Soft tissue lasers are used to perform relatively minor gum procedures. An example may be using the laser to slowly uncover erupting teeth and removing gum tissue that has outgrown themselves and protrudes onto the gum’s tissue.
Cone beam x-ray machines are similar to the equipment used to perform a CAT scan. However, it exposes patients to a lot less radiation. Not only does it use less radiation but your orthodontist will be able to take 3D x-rays to more accurately and precisely located un-erupted and impacted teeth. This makes the overall job of the orthodontist much easier and causes fewer issues for the patient.
In the end, you want an orthodontist to care about the technology they use within their practice. If they’re not keeping up to date with the industry standards that are found everywhere else, they likely aren’t invested much into their business. In turn, they aren’t invested much in your treatment. Avoid orthodontists who aren’t keeping up with the latest technological trends.
Recommendations from friends, family, and even strangers are extremely helpful in finding an orthodontist who may be right for you.
Ask your friends and family who they think would be right for you. It’s always a good idea to hear first-hand information from someone you trust to make a better decision. While recommendations found from strangers on the internet may be helpful, they’re not always the most honest.
When researching recommendations online, take note that consumers are much more likely to leave a review when a negative experience occurs rather than when a positive one does.
Look for trends in recommendations. If multiple people are saying the same thing about their experience, it’s likely going to be true.
Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around
You don’t have to set your mind on the first orthodontist you visit with. Make several appointments with multiple orthodontists and meet with them over some time. Ask them questions that matter to you and don’t be afraid to say that they aren’t right for you.
This will give you the best shot at finding the perfect orthodontist for your needs or your family. Orthodontists are used to potential patients meeting with them beforehand. Your health is important and finding the right person to help you with it is crucial to taking care of yourself as best as possible.
If you’re needing an orthodontist to straighten out your teeth, you’re going to likely be given the braces treatment.
What this means is that your orthodontist will likely recommend you to use braces for an extended period to slowly correct them. Braces form a band around your teeth that are slightly tightened to provide continuous, unending pressure. This causes your teeth to slowly align themselves without causing any damage or injury.
Braces treatment is the most popular treatment for misaligned or crooked teeth. They’ve helped millions of people from around the world in achieving the perfect smile that they deserve.
Typically, these brackets are small squares that are bonded onto the front of each tooth using a special bonding agent or an orthodontic band. These brackets may be stainless steel, tooth-colored, plastic, ceramic, and maybe in various colors if you’re interested. They may also be cemented to the back of teeth to hide them from view.
For those interested in receiving braces for treatment, you’ll likely have four options. Here they are:
- Self-ligating braces
- Lingual braces
- Metal/Traditional Braces
About Self Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces look and function extremely similarly when compared to metal or traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces are available for clear and ceramic brackets. This makes them a lot more discreet than traditional braces.
About Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are attached to the backside of your teeth. Typically, this is done so that no one can see them maintain the aesthetic of your beautiful face. Additionally, they don’t work any less hard when applied to the back of your teeth. They function the same as if they were attached to the front.
However, they may be a bit more uncomfortable and may have a slight adjustment period as your tongue adapts to the constant braces rubbing against it. They’re also quite expensive when compared to traditional braces. They require special materials and will demand a higher degree of skill from an orthodontist, which increases the price appropriately.
Retainers aren’t necessarily braces. But, they work hand-in-hand with braces and are something you should be aware of.
After braces finish their work of moving your teeth to be aligned, you need to wear a retainer to hold them in place. If you don’t hold them in place for a prolonged period, your teeth will begin to relax and fall out of alignment again.
You can either get a fixed retainer that permanently attaches to the front of your teeth to stop them from moving, or you can use a removable retainer. Removable retainers are typically more common as most people prefer to take them out at night.
About Metal/Traditional Braces
Metal, or traditional, braces are made of wires and brackets that attach to the front of your teeth. They’re typically the least expensive out of all the options for braces.
While they’re required to be attached to the front of your teeth, they’ve gotten better at straightening your teeth faster as technology has advanced. New, heat-activated archwires are used to help teeth more quickly and less painfully.
Invisalign is a custom-made brace that looks similar to a mouth-guard. The only difference is that it’s clear.
Invisalign is custom-made to help straighten out your teeth over time. As the name implies, it’s almost invisible to spot. This makes it a popular option for adults who don’t want to walk around with visible braces. They’re removable and can easily be taken out at a moment’s notice.
Every two weeks, Invisalign braces need to be replaced. The process of replacing them will continue until your teeth are aligned correctly.
Orthodontists make Invisalign out of a special material that is tough enough to straighten your teeth while still comfortable enough to wear every day.
Once applied, you can leave Invisalign in for as long as you’d like and remove them as you wish. Of course, the more time you spend with them on the faster you’ll get to stop using them.