Orthodontists Vs. Dentists for Orthodontic Treatment

If you’ve been looking into orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone in your family, you may have wondered if this is something that requires an orthodontist or if your general dentist can get the job done. While there are many similarities between the two professions, dentists and orthodontists are not interchangeable! There are some significant reasons you should choose an orthodontist rather than a dentist for your orthodontic treatment. 

If you’re looking into treatments like braces or clear aligners, it’s important to understand the differences between dentists and orthodontists. Innovative Orthodontics is proud to provide expert orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Savannah, Rincon, and Pooler. Dr. Waters and Dr. Clayton are experienced orthodontists and will help you decide which treatment option is best for you or your child. Let’s take a closer look at orthodontists and dentists to learn more!

Differences in education and training

Orthodontists and dentists both begin their careers in dental school. But after graduation, orthodontists take a different path, including several extra years of specialized training 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. These programs entail 2-3 years of full-time training that concentrates on orthodontics, focusing on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and other appliances.  

A dentist must complete this residency program before being considered an orthodontist. To put it simply, orthodontists are dentists who have years of additional specialized training in orthodontics under their belt. Although there are always exceptions to the rule, most general dentists don’t possess this level of rigorous orthodontic training and experience.

Some dentists can straighten teeth. However…

All dentists indeed receive basic orthodontic training in school, and some general dentists can provide quality orthodontic care to their patients. This is usually the result of that dentist taking continuing education seminars and acquiring extra orthodontic experience through workshops. However, this system isn’t as thorough as going through a complete residency and certification program. Unlike colleges and orthodontic programs, workshops and seminars have no way to go over such extensive and specific material in depth.

If your general dentist does offer orthodontic care, you may be considering them as an option. But before you choose to move forward with orthodontic treatment by your dentist, consider that an experienced orthodontist will be able to:

  • Provide you with a wider variety of treatment options, from traditional metal braces to clear aligner systems like Invisalign.
  • Create a customized treatment plan for you based on your unique smile, specific needs, and desired results.
  • Since orthodontics is their primary focus, they offer you more efficient treatments and visits.
  • Deliver the best possible outcome for your smile, particularly if you have a more complicated case of severe dental issues.

Orthodontic care and treatment is our main focus and only specialty, so we put a lot of hard work into perfecting our techniques. Dr. Waters and Dr. Clayton perform teeth straightening procedures daily, make an effort to keep up to date on the latest in industry practice, and regularly attend continuing education courses. We also equip our Savannah, Rincon, and Pooler offices with the most current orthodontic equipment. As you can see, our entire team puts a lot of time and energy into providing you with nothing but the best in individualized orthodontic care!

Orthodontists Vs. Dentists for Orthodontic Treatment

Specialized treatment for achieving the straightest smiles

As the patient, it’s always up to you to choose your care provider. But when it comes to something as important as your smile, wouldn’t you prefer a doctor with the most specialized education, training, and experience possible? Having a general dentist perform specialized orthodontic work is like a general physician performing open-heart surgery. Can it be done? Sure! But as the common saying goes, just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

A straighter, healthier smile isn’t all you can expect from an experienced orthodontist. Their training emphasizes optimal treatment approaches that can help avoid any unnecessary complications. This means an orthodontist is more likely to notice small things a general dentist may overlook and only recommend the appropriate treatment plan for you. In doing so, treatment times are reduced, there’s less chance of developing complications, and the treatment plan remains time and cost-effective.

Orthodontists Vs. Dentists for Orthodontic Treatment

Choose Innovative Orthodontics for the best orthodontic experience

At Innovative Orthodontics, we have everything you need for an optimal orthodontic experience. Our customized care plans will see you through your treatment from start to finish! Orthodontics is our specialty, so we have the expertise necessary to give you high-quality, affordable care. 

If you’d like to see this level of excellence in action, we’d love to meet you and share more information on how orthodontic treatment could benefit your smile and life! When you schedule an initial consultation with our Savannah, Rincon, or Pooler office, you’ll receive a thorough examination by one of our experienced orthodontists. Following this exam, we’ll be able to address any orthodontic issues you’re experiencing and outline a personalized treatment plan for you. 

This is a no-pressure appointment! Even if you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, our expert team is here to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have to make an informed decision. If you’re ready to take the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation!