Dr. Teertha Karnakar
Certified Invisalign® Platinum Provider
Orthodontic Center, Dubai
Dr. Teertha Karnakar’s passion for orthodontics started at such young age, having worked closely with her father in their 35-year old orthodontic practice in India. She graduated from Rajiv Gandhi University in 2005 and earned her Master’s Degree in Orthodontics from Dr. D.Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital in 2010.
Dr. Teertha pursued advanced studies and completed special training in Lingual Orthodontics at the Kyungpook National University, Korea in 2010. She then received her Incognito™ Braces Certification in Germany in 2011. In between her extensive private practice, Dr. Teertha actively participates in continuous education and has completed a number of courses on Skeletal Anchorage- Dentos Micro-Implant Anchorage Hands-On Course, Segmental Arch Technique Mechanics and Functional Occlusion Percepts.
She has been a part of several dental and orthodontic conferences in Dubai and abroad. One of her biggest lectures was at the 10th Arab Orthodontic Conference (UAE), where she presented her study. “The Curious Case of the Impacted Canine”.
She is an active member of the Indian Orthodontic Society, the American Association of Orthodontists, the British Lingual Orthodontic Association and the World Federation of Orthodontists.
Dr. Teertha specializes in treating children with preventive and interceptive orthodontics, and adults with invisible and surgical orthodontics.
She specializes in fixed orthodontic treatments using the latest self-ligating systems such as the Smart clip (3M) and the Damon system.
She is a certified provider of Invisalign®, Inman Aligner and ClearPath Aligner and a trusted provider of Six Month Smiles®.
Up Close & Personal
Out of all the many fields of dentistry, why did you choose Orthodontics?
What do you like most about being an orthodontist?
Orthodontics is extremely challenging and that’s what I love the most about it. Unlike other fields of dentistry you can see the results only after a year or sometimes longer because that’s how long your teeth take to move. Hence it’s important to have a proper treatment plan in hand because one wrong step might take months to rectify.
It has a bit of Physics – because you need to calculate how every degree of bend you put into that wire will affect tooth movement. It has a bit of Chemistry -because the new generation of orthodontic wires have varied properties, did you know that some of them actually get activated by increase in temperature once placed inside your mouth? And that is why you can indulge in a bit of ice cream or anything cold to ease the pain as the decrease in temperature reduces the force. And off course, there’s Biology because at the end we are trying to move teeth and we need to measure and exert the right amount of pressure to move teeth without causing any damage.
What do you think is the biggest change that you've seen in your profession?
There is something new being invented in the field Orthodontics every single day. With the advent of CAD CAM based technology aligners, custom made brackets and robots bending your arch wires for you -this really is perfection at its best. Not only does this save chairside time, it also ensures a more precise end result.
Parents who have had orthodontic treatment done couple of years back and bring in their children are surprised to see how comfortable the new generation of orthodontic brackets are and how fuss free the treatment is.
We hardly ever extract teeth in our practice anymore unless absolutely necessary. The newer treatment protocol is to be more conservative and expand arches to align teeth.
Another huge change that I have seen is the death of the adage “braces are meant for children”. We have several adult patients opting for orthodontic treatment now. In fact, 50% of my patients are adults who could not get treated earlier on in life. This could be due to increased dental health awareness in the public and mostly due to the new range of “invisible” orthodontic treatments involving the use of aligners and lingual braces.
The top most common orthodontic solutions/services in your practice are:
Among adults, what's the most preferred way of correcting bites and straightening teeth? Are traditional metal braces still popular among adults?
The common misconception/s about orthodontics is/are:
- I am too old to wear braces – you are never too old to get your teeth straightened. Yes, the tooth movement might be slower than it would be at a younger age. In fact, if done right, orthodontic tooth movement can actually improve the bone level.
- I am too young to wear braces – yes we always put braces on permanent teeth and hence the misconception about visiting an orthodontist after all your permanent teeth have erupted. However, certain cases require early intervention to correct the ways in which our jaws grow. This is called a Phase-I Orthodontic treatment and is more of a preventive measure to avoid much severe malocclusions later.
Describe a typical day at work.
When it comes to addressing children's oral health, what's the most important thing you like to focus on?
As an experienced orthodontist, what is the biggest problem in oral healthcare today?
We live in a world where everyone’s looking for “instant gratification” with instant food, instant fat loss, and instant smile correction. And while “fast” can make you instantly feel good, “fast” is not always a good thing. The market is flooded with new techniques that promise you the moon.
My recommendation would be to do proper research, weigh all the pros and cons, always take a second opinion and then take an informed decision before getting any treatment done.
When considering orthodontic treatment always ensure that you visit a specialist. A dentist is like a family doctor – great for fillings and check ups. A specialist is someone who has had an additional 3 years of education and is the expert at straightening teeth and choosing the treatment option that’s best for you.