How Can an Orthodontist Fix Your Mouth & Jaw for Optimal Alignment?


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Do you know the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? Both work hard to keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but we orthodontists have additional training so we can treat tooth and jaw misalignment. We also participate in a two- to three-year residency, finishing with over 4,800 hours of orthodontic training under our belt!

Orthodontic Training
Not only do we orthodontists complete the same coursework and training that your dentist does by earning a bachelor’s degree, but we also graduate from a four-year accredited dental school program to earn our orthodontic certification. During this time, we go through an orthodontic residency program that takes two to three years, teaching us the skills we need to practice orthodontics with all the qualifications needed to pass. So, in the end, your awesome dentist finishes eight years of higher education while we end up with 10-11 years of school when we’re finished!

So What Does This Mean For You?
Whether you are tired of seeing crooked teeth when you look in the mirror or your dentist refers you to us after diagnosing you with a misaligned bite, our orthodontic team has the qualifications you need to help you. Like your dentist, we take your oral health seriously and look forward to helping you achieve your healthiest, aligned smile that will also help you look and feel your best when you look into the mirror!

What We Can Do for You!
As orthodontists, our goal is to help you correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws. While a more appealing smile results from straighter teeth, we actually focus on your jawbone health, along with aligning your teeth and correcting abnormalities in your mouth and face. Our day-to-day duties center on procedures and treatments that fix your occlusion, misalignment, and tooth abnormalities. For example, having crowded teeth or a bite that is “off,” such as an underbite or overbite, along with crooked teeth, are all issues with your alignment. When you come to our orthodontic practice for treatment, we might perform any of the following:

• Evaluate your smile to spot abnormalities in your mouth, jaw, and face
• Take X-rays and molds to assess your tooth alignment
• Place orthodontic braces or another orthodontic device (aligners, retainers, etc.)
• Straighten teeth with the help of orthodontic surgery
• Supervise your child’s tooth growth and alignment

Of course, while helping your smile look better than ever is part of our specialty, crooked or misaligned teeth should be treated for non-aesthetic reasons because problems with your mouth can leave you with lockjaw, speech impediments, headaches, etc. So solving these problems can improve your overall quality of life! So how do you know whether you should see a dentist or an orthodontist for your oral health concerns? Here are some signs to help you decide:

• Your teeth are crowded from insufficient space in the jaws or the size of your teeth
• You struggle with teeth that are either misaligned, overgrown, or crooked
• You have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or openbite
• Your teeth need to be straightened
• You feel discomfort or pain in the mouth or jaw (TMJ), requiring a retainer, etc.
• You struggle when chewing or trying to speak
• Your palate needs to be expanded

Call Today!
Whatever you do, don’t put off recommended orthodontic care. Don’t like braces? No problem! Clear aligners can often fix the issue, so you feel less conspicuous.

Your oral health is as important as your overall health, and regular visits with your dentist and our orthodontist can help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come! You deserve high-quality orthodontic care. Please call us at (703) 433-9330 to learn more or address your concerns!


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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