These days, most general dentistry practices offer braces or Invisalign. It can seem really convenient to get your braces or aligners at the same place you get your checkups, but it may not be the best idea. Let’s talk about why it’s best to see an orthodontist for your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontists complete an additional 2-3 years of schooling to become specialists
All orthodontists start out by going to school to become general dentists. Then, they apply to extremely competitive orthodontic residency programs. Only the best and brightest dental school grads are accepted into these programs. They become experts in topics such as orthodontic theory, craniofacial anatomy, and dentofacial orthopedics. You likely wouldn’t ask your family doctor to perform heart surgery; likewise, it’s best to put your orthodontic care in the hands of a specialist.
Orthodontists straighten teeth all day, every day
Your general dentist is a knowledgeable professional. He or she completed four years of dental school to learn all about oral health and is more than qualified to provide you with services such as checkups, fillings, veneers, and crowns. However, a general dentist doesn’t spend as much time straightening teeth as an orthodontist does. Your orthodontist has handled many cases, from easy to difficult, and has both the education and hands-on experience to take on any case that may come their way.
Orthodontists are committed to continuing their orthodontic education and using cutting edge tools and techniques
A great orthodontist loves to learn and knows that the field of orthodontics is always evolving. They participate in continuing education classes and seminars. They also get excited about and invest in new technology that improves the orthodontic experience for their patients, such as self-ligating brackets and the iTero 3D scanner.
How do I know if the provider I’d like to see is an orthodontist? How can I ensure that I choose the best person to straighten my/my child’s smile?
Both orthodontists and dentists will have the tag “D.D.S.” or “D.M.D.” after their name. Orthodontists will typically also have an “M.S.” for “Master of Science”. Ask the doctor where they completed their orthodontic residency, if they have ever treated a mouth similar to yours, and if you can see photos of past cases. The American Association of Orthodontists is an excellent resource when you are trying to find a qualified orthodontist. Only orthodontists are accepted for membership, and the website has a search tool to help you find a nearby provider. Dr. Scott Peterson is an active AAO member.
Your smile is a big investment. It’s worth taking the time to carefully research before committing to a provider, and a specialist really is the best choice. When you choose Peterson Family Orthodontics, you are choosing a passionate orthodontist and team who will work tirelessly to help you achieve your best smile.