Have you ever wondered what type of dentist you should see if you or you child needs braces or Invisalign? Millions of people around the world have issues with their teeth that require the assistance of a dental specialist known as an Orthodontist. The first thing that any patient or parent of a patient should consider when choosing a dental professional is to make sure that the doctor that they are considering specializes in handling their specific need.
General Dentist – vs – Orthodontist
General Dentist (Family dentist)
Your general dentist serves the same function as your general physician (Family doctor) in that they assist you with your overall oral health needs and check-ups. Some of the services that they are trained to provide are gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, and preventive education. When an issue exists that requires specialized attention, your general dentist should always refer you to the appropriate dental specialist in the same way that your family doctor should send you to a medical doctor that specializes in your specific issues: cardiologist deals with heart issues; dermatologist with skin issues, etc. Your general dentist is not trained as an orthodontist and does not have the same level of education, expertise, experience, or specialized equipment to properly diagnose and treat your orthodontic needs.
An orthodontist is a dentist that has specialized training, education, and a degree in orthodontics. Orthodontists typically graduate in the top 5% of their dental class and then have to get specialized training for another 2 to 4 years in order to become an orthodontist. They are specialists with expertise in the areas of fixing bad bites (malocclusions), which commonly result from crowded, missing, or extra teeth or jaws that are out of alignment. This specialist is responsible for straightening teeth by moving them through bone by the use of bands, wires, braces, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances or retainers. This specialist treats children as well as adults who may wish to improve their appearance and bite.
Therefore, if you or your child need help in straightening or aligning their teeth then you need to see an Orthodontist.