Dentists and orthodontists alike both look after your mouth and help to ensure that you have a great small, there is a pretty big difference between the two. All orthodontists started out as dentists but they went on to further their orthodontist training and specialized their practice. An orthodontist will deal exclusively with the branch of dental care that corrects crooked and irregular teeth either through braces or an Invisalign device.
How to become an Orthodontist
After dental school graduation most dentists will go work in a general practice where they perform the dental services that they learned how to do in dental school. They will perform regular checkups and fillings, extractions and root canals among other services. An orthodontist chooses to further their education and specialize, that takes an additional couple of years of training and education. This allows them to understand and diagnose dental problems and alignment issues with your jaw. It takes almost 10 years of education to become an orthodontist, these dentists are committed to what they do. Here is what it takes to become an orthodontist.
Do I need to see both a dentist and an orthodontist?
Actually yes you will have to see both. While an orthodontist can technically treat other dental issues most will choose to commit to their specialty instead. That means your orthodontist isn’t going to clean your teeth nor will they fill in your cavities. They will often request that you see a general dentist for those type of issues. Your orthodontist can refer you to a local dentist or vice versa. Proper alignment of your teeth is more important to your health that just having a great smile.
My dentist offers Invisalign, do I still need an orthodontist?
There will be the occasional dentist that has taken some classes on Invisalign or Fastbraces but those are basically some weekend classes and it doesn’t make up for an extra two years of training. Invisalign may be a great option for you if you have a simple misalignment but more serious problems need more treatment than that. Even if you only have an initial consultation with an orthodontist they are best qualified to tell you exactly what you need.
Finding an Orthodontist
Finding a nearby orthodontist is as simple as a Google search, or you can ask friends and colleagues for a referral. Chances are pretty good that you already know someone who had braces and they can tell you what they like about their orthodontist.