What is Orthodontics?

Southern California Family Dentistry

Having a board-certified orthodontist in-house enables the practice to provide adults and children with teeth straightening and regular dental care in one convenient location. Thanks to her specialist training and expert skill, Dr. Field can successfully treat even complicated cases.

D.T. Fields, DDS, MS, Orthodontist

Dr. Fields is a board-certified orthodontist. She grew up in Pasadena and earned her dental degree at UCLA. She then went on to study orthodontics and received her orthodontic specialist certificate from USC, where she also earned a Master of Science degree in Craniofacial Biology. Dr. Fields enjoys providing her patients with beautiful, confident smiles and establishing lasting relationships with them. In addition to providing traditional braces, she is also an Invisalign® Preferred Provider.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the treatment of teeth and jaws that are positioned incorrectly; from Greek “ortho” meaning “straight” or  “correct”, and “odont” meaning “tooth.” The orthodontist’s job is not just to straighten teeth, it is also to make sure that the teeth

come together properly. This is known as a person’s “bite.” Having a correctly aligned bite is very important, not only for aesthetics but also for proper chewing function and TMJ (jaw joint) health.   Dr. Fields ensures that treatment results in both a beautiful smile and optimum function.

Some examples of orthodontics are crowding, overjet, deep overbite, open bite, spacing, crossbite, and underbite.

Crowding: Large teeth and/or a small dental arch may cause teeth to be improperly aligned. Severe crowding may also cause the bone and gums over the roots of teeth to become thin and diminish. Additionally, crowding may cause impacted teeth, poor biting and unpleasing appearance.

Overjet or protruding upper teeth: Upper front teeth that participate in an excessive amount of contact with the lower front teeth become injury prone. This may also lead to molars and an uneven jaw growth.

Deep overbite: Deep overbites can be caused when the lower jaw is too small, or when the lower jaw closes too far and is pushed back towards the ears.

Open bite: An open bite takes place when the upper and lower incisor teeth fail to make contact when biting down. A great amount of tooth wear can take place due to the excessive biting pressure placed on the back teeth.

Spacing: Spacing between the teeth may take place if teeth are missing or too small. This usually results in undesirable appearance.

Crossbite: A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. These issues are typically corrected early, due to the inconvenience of biting and chewing complications.

Underbite or lower jaw protrusion: A lower jaw that is longer than the upper jaw can cause the lower front teeth to bulge ahead of the upper front teeth, causing a crossbite.

Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Teeth that are crooked or crowded become extremely difficult to clean and maintain. This could potentially lead to painful issues and even gum disease or tooth loss. Orthodontic problems may also cause chewing issues, enormous stress on gum tissue and the bone that backs the teeth.

Problems that are ignored and untreated often become worse and more expensive to correct.

Experienced and Highly-Trained


Southern California Family Dentistry - Hossein Jahangiri DDS - Dentist - Whittier, Lake Forest, San Clemente


General, Implant & Cosmetic Dentist, Clinical Director, SCFD & Portside Dentistry


With Locations in Whittier, Lake Forest and San Clemente