Many patients who are contemplating braces for themselves or their children wonder if this is something that absolutely requires the services of an orthodontist, or if it is something their regular dentist can handle. While there are many similarities between the two, they are not interchangeable. There are some significant differences that set orthodontists apart from dentists, and if you are looking into orthodontic treatment like braces, it is important to understand what those differences are. By exploring what orthodontists have to offer that other dentists do not, you will be able to make an informed decision about which option is best for you or your child. Keep reading to learn more!
Differences in education and training
Although orthodontists and dentists begin their careers in dental school, orthodontists take a different path after graduation, one that includes extra years of training that specializes in aligning teeth and jaws. Orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, and only the top students in any dental school graduating class will be accepted and continue toward a specialty in orthodontics. This program will entail 2-3 years of full-time training that concentrates on orthodontics, with a focus on treatment with braces and correcting bite problems. It is only after a dentist has successfully completed this residency program that they will be considered an orthodontist. To put it in simple terms, orthodontists are dentists who also have years of specialized, additional training in orthodontics behind them. Although there are always exceptions to the rule, most general dentists will not have this kind of rigorous orthodontic training and experience.
Some dentists can straighten teeth, but…
All dentists do receive basic orthodontic training in school, and there are some general dentists who are able to provide quality orthodontic care to their patients. This usually occurs when a general dentist takes continuing education seminars and acquires extra orthodontic experience through workshops. However, this is an imperfect system, since workshops and seminars have no way to go over such extensive and specific material in depth.
If your primary care dentist does offer orthodontic care, you may be considering using them for braces. But before you choose to move forward with treatment by your dentist, consider that an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Unger will be able to:
- provide more treatment options, from traditional metal braces to clear aligner systems like Invisalign®
- create a customized treatment plan for you based around your unique needs, anatomical characteristics, and desired results
- offer more efficient treatments and visits since orthodontics is the main focus
- deliver the best possible outcome for your smile, particularly if you have a more complicated or severe dental issue
Because orthodontic care and treatment is our only specialty at Unger Orthodontics, we put a lot of time and energy into perfecting our techniques! Whether it is performing teeth straightening procedures daily, making an effort to keep up to date on the latest industry practice, purchasing the most current orthodontic equipment, or taking continuing education courses regularly, Dr. Unger and the entire team make a real effort to provide only the best in individualized orthodontic care.
Specialized treatment for the straightest smiles
Having a general dentist perform specialized orthodontic work is a little bit like a general physician performing open heart surgery. It is like the common saying goes – just because it can be done, does not necessarily mean it should be done. While the choice of care provider is always up to you as the patient, would not you prefer the doctor with the most specialized education, training, and experience when it comes to something as important as your smile?
An orthodontist puts emphasis on optimal treatment approaches that help to avoid any unnecessary complications. With the training and experience to notice small things a dentist might overlook, orthodontists are able to recommend treatment plans that are time and cost-effective, and will also reduce the chance of any complications developing. Unger Orthodontics has everything you need for an optimal orthodontic experience, with customized, long-term care plans to see patients through their treatment from start to finish and beyond!
Unger Orthodontics offers the best braces experience for you and your family
Our sole specialty here is orthodontics. This ensures that we have the kind of experience and capability we feel is necessary to give you the best quality, cost, and efficiency in braces treatment. Would you like to see this kind of excellent care in action? Are you interested in learning more about how orthodontic treatment could benefit your smile? We would love to have you our office for a free initial consultation!