Dentists vs Orthodontists


danielle-2Why Select an Orthodontic Specialist?

Braces are braces . . . right? . . . Wrong!

Orthodontic treatment may permanently change your teeth and possibly your face and profile. You want a well-qualified professional working for the best possible results. There is a difference between a dentist who does orthodontics, such as a family dentist or children’s dentist, and a specialist in orthodontics.

While it is legal for any dentist to perform orthodontic services, non-orthodontists have not had the additional two-three years of specialty training that all dentists must have in order to legally and ethically call themselves an orthodontist.

Orthodontic specialists limit their practice to orthodontic treatment only. They have learned the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development by completing an extensive advanced training program after dental school.

Here are some questions to ask a specialist before treatment:

  • Is the office specialized, limited to orthodontics exclusively? (One would not go to a general physician for heart surgery.)
  • How long has the orthodontist been in practice?
  • Is the doctor Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, and if so, for how long?
  • Is the doctor affiliated with a dental school, providing the opportunity for the practice to remain at the forefront of orthodontics?
  • Does the doctor see each patient on every visit?
  • Are new, sterilized appliances used, or are the brackets and bands recycled from one patient to another?
  • Are proper methods of sterilization used to ensure the safety of each and every patient?
  • Does the office utilize modern technological advances, staying current on the latest research and treatment options available?
  • Does the office accept insurance benefits and file all forms on your behalf?
  • Does the office have an “in-house lab” to custom-make all appliances and retainers?
  • We hope this information will help you make a more informed decision when choosing an orthodontist. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at

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