Welcome, my fellow curious minds! Are you considering getting braces to straighten your pearly whites but unsure which type of dentist to consult? You’re not alone! With the plethora of dental professionals, it cannot be very clear who to turn to for your orthodontic needs. Fear not, because I’m here to shed some light on the subject and help you make an informed decision.
So, what type of dentist does braces? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. A few different types of dental professionals can provide orthodontic treatment, including general dentists, pediatric dentists, and orthodontists. Each has its own unique set of skills and experience, and the right choice for you will depend on your individual needs.
In this blog post, we’ll closely examine each dental professional and explore each option’s pros and cons. We’ll also discuss the different types of braces available and which might be the best fit for you. By the end of this post, you’ll better understand the different types of dentists who do braces and be one step closer to achieving your dream smile. For further information, consider reading the article Is an orthodontist just for braces?
So, let’s dive in and get started!
What Type of Dentist Does Braces? Dentist or Orthodontist?
You may wonder whether to consult a dentist or an orthodontist regarding orthodontic treatment, such as braces. Dentists and orthodontists can provide braces, but there are important differences when choosing.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the different types of dental professionals who can provide orthodontic treatment. General dentists are trained to provide a wide range of dental services, including preventative care, fillings, and extractions, and some are also trained to provide orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists, on the other hand, have completed additional training in diagnosing and treating misaligned teeth and jaws. This comprehensive article from the American Dental Association may provide additional insights.
While both general dentists and orthodontists can provide braces, some key differences exist. Dentists who provide orthodontic treatment typically have less training and experience in this area compared to orthodontists. This means that while they may be able to provide some braces, they may not have the same level of expertise or the ability to handle complex cases.
What Does an Orthodontist Do?
Orthodontists, on the other hand, are specialists in orthodontics and have completed additional training beyond dental school. They have a more in-depth understanding of tooth movement, bite problems, and other orthodontic issues and are better equipped to handle more complex cases. They also typically have access to a wider range of braces options, including advanced technologies like clear aligners and lingual braces. More information about these issues can be found on the American Association of Orthodontists website.
Another factor to consider is that dentists who provide braces may be more convenient and offer a wider range of services under one roof, but they may not be the best option for everyone. Orthodontists may be more expensive than dentists, but they offer specialized care that can result in more efficient and effective treatment.
Ultimately, deciding whether to consult a dentist or an orthodontist for braces will depend on your needs and preferences. An orthodontist may be the best choice if you have complex orthodontic issues. However, if you have more straightforward needs, a dentist who provides orthodontic treatment may be a convenient and cost-effective option.
Difference: Orthodontist vs Dentist
There are several key differences between orthodontists and dentists, including their education, training, and areas of expertise.
Education and Training: Orthodontists are dental specialists who complete a three-year residency program in orthodontics after completing four years of dental school. During their residency, they receive specialized training in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. In contrast, dentists complete a four-year dental program and may receive additional training in orthodontics, but they are not specialists in this area.
Expertise: Orthodontists have a more in-depth understanding of tooth movement, bite problems, and other orthodontic issues, and they can diagnose and treat more complex cases. They also can access a wider range of orthodontic appliances, including advanced technologies like clear aligners and lingual braces. Dentists who provide orthodontic treatment typically have less training and experience in this area and may only be able to offer certain braces.
Cost: Orthodontic treatment can be more expensive than dental treatment, partly due to orthodontists’ specialized training and expertise. However, some dental insurance plans may cover orthodontic treatment, and orthodontists may offer financing options to make treatment more affordable.
Services: While orthodontists and dentists provide dental services, orthodontists focus on aligning teeth and jaws. They may also provide other services, such as palatal expanders, headgear, and orthodontic appliances. On the other hand, dentists provide a wider range of dental services, including preventative care, fillings, extractions, and cosmetic dentistry.
Overall, while dentists and orthodontists provide important dental services, orthodontists have specialized training and expertise in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, it may be beneficial to consult with an orthodontist to ensure that you receive the best possible care and achieve the best possible results.
Educational Requirements of an Orthodontist
Becoming an orthodontist requires extensive education and training. Here are the typical educational requirements for becoming an orthodontist:
- Undergraduate Degree: The first step to becoming an orthodontist is to complete an undergraduate degree. Most students pursuing a career in dentistry will major in a science-related field, such as biology or chemistry, though it is not required. Some programs have specific prerequisite courses, so it’s important to research and choose a program that aligns with your career goals.
- Dental School: Aspiring orthodontists must attend dental school after earning an undergraduate degree. This typically involves completing a four-year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program. The dental school curriculum includes coursework in oral anatomy, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and clinical procedures.
- Residency Program: Following dental school, orthodontists must complete a specialized residency program in orthodontics. These programs typically last 2-3 years and include extensive clinical training in diagnosing and treating orthodontic problems. During their residency, orthodontic residents receive training in orthodontic appliances, braces, and other devices to straighten teeth and correct bite problems.
- Licensure: Upon completing their education and training, orthodontists must become licensed to practice in their state. This typically involves passing a written and clinical exam. In some states, orthodontists may also be required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their licenses.
Becoming an orthodontist requires several years of education and training and a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. However, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career for those passionate about helping others achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.
Are Orthodontics Limited to Braces?
No, orthodontists do not only do braces. While orthodontists are known for their expertise in diagnosing, preventing, and treating misaligned teeth and jaws, they provide many services beyond braces. Orthodontists are trained to correct orthodontic issues, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, crowding, and spacing.
Some of the services that orthodontists may provide include:
- Traditional Braces: Orthodontists can install and manage traditional braces, the most common type of orthodontic treatment. These braces use metal brackets and wires to move teeth into the desired position gradually.
- Clear Aligners: Orthodontists can also provide clear aligners, a more discreet alternative to traditional braces. Clear aligners are custom-made, removable trays that gradually shift teeth into the desired position.
- Retainers: After braces or aligner treatment, orthodontists may provide retainers to help maintain the new position of teeth.
- Jaw Surgery: Orthodontists may work with oral and maxillofacial surgeons to correct the underlying issue through surgical intervention for severe cases of misaligned teeth or jaws.
- Space Maintainers: Orthodontists may also provide space maintainers to prevent teeth from shifting after a tooth extraction or premature loss of a baby tooth.
- Palatal Expanders: Orthodontists may also use palatal expanders to correct issues with the palate or jaw, such as crossbites.
In addition to these services, orthodontists may provide education and counseling on oral hygiene, nutrition, and other aspects of dental health. Overall, orthodontists provide specialized services to help patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.
Can a Dentist Do Braces?
Yes, dentists can do braces, but their ability to provide orthodontic treatment may be limited compared to that of an orthodontist. Dentists typically receive some training in orthodontics during their dental education, but their expertise and experience in orthodontic treatment may vary.
Dentists may offer certain types of orthodontic treatment, such as clear aligners or limited braces, for minor cosmetic issues. However, an orthodontist may be a better option for more complex cases or cases requiring more specialized orthodontic appliances.
If a dentist offers orthodontic treatment, it’s important to ask about their training and experience in orthodontics and their success rate with similar cases. Sometimes, a dentist may refer a patient to an orthodontist for more specialized care.
It’s important to note that while some dentists may offer orthodontic treatment, they may not have the same level of training and expertise in orthodontics as an orthodontist. Orthodontists undergo specialized training that focuses specifically on the alignment of teeth and jaws, and they are often more equipped to handle complex orthodontic cases. Ultimately, choosing the right provider for your orthodontic treatment depends on the complexity of your case and your specific needs.
Can Another Dentist Offer Orthodontic Treatment?
While orthodontists are the dental specialists who primarily diagnose, prevent, and treat misaligned teeth and jaws, other dentists may also offer orthodontic treatment.
General dentists, for example, may offer certain types of orthodontic treatment, such as clear aligners or limited braces for minor cosmetic issues. However, their training and expertise in orthodontic treatment may be limited compared to that of an orthodontist.
It’s important to note that while some general dentists may offer orthodontic treatment, they may not have completed the same level of training and education in orthodontics as an orthodontist. Orthodontists undergo specialized training that focuses specifically on the alignment of teeth and jaws, and they are often more equipped to handle complex orthodontic cases.
If a patient requires more complex orthodontic treatment or has underlying issues that may impact the success of their treatment, an orthodontist may be the best option for treatment. It’s important to research and choose a qualified, experienced orthodontic specialist who can provide you with the highest care and expertise for your specific orthodontic needs.
Orthodontic Treatment When Should I See An Orthodontist?
Some several signs and symptoms may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment, and you should consider seeing an orthodontist if you experience any of the following:
- Crowded or Crooked Teeth: If you have teeth that are crowded, twisted, or overlapping, it may be a sign that your teeth are not properly aligned.
- Overbite or Underbite: If your upper or lower front teeth protrude excessively over or under each other, it can lead to an overbite or underbite. These issues can lead to difficulty biting or chewing and cause jaw pain or discomfort.
- Crossbite: When the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, it is called a crossbite. This can cause wear on the teeth and may lead to jaw pain or discomfort.
- Open Bite: If you have an open bite, there is a space between your upper and lower teeth when you bite down. This can make it difficult to eat and speak properly.
- Difficulty Chewing or Speaking: If you experience difficulty chewing or speaking, it may be a sign of misaligned teeth or jaws.
- Mouth Breathing: If you habitually breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, it can lead to oral health problems, including misaligned teeth and jaws.
- Thumb Sucking: If you or your child frequently sucks their thumb or fingers, it can lead to misaligned teeth or jaws.
- Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth: If baby teeth are lost too early or too late, it can impact the development of permanent teeth and lead to misalignment.
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist is a good idea. An orthodontist can assess your specific orthodontic needs and recommend the appropriate treatment to correct any issues and help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
How Can I Locate a Specialist Orthodontist Near Me?
There are several ways you can locate an orthodontist near you. Here are a few options:
- Ask your dentist: Your regular dentist may be able to recommend an orthodontist in your area.
- Search online: You can search for orthodontists in your area by using online search engines or directories, such as the American Association of Orthodontists “Find an Orthodontist” tool, “dentist that does braces near me” or “dentist that does braces with Medicaid.”
- Check with professional organizations: The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and other dental professional organizations maintain directories of orthodontists. You can check their websites for a list of orthodontists in your area.
- Ask for recommendations from friends or family: You can also ask those who have received orthodontic treatment for recommendations.
- Consult with your insurance provider: If you have dental insurance, your insurance provider may have a list of orthodontists in your network.
Once you have a list of potential orthodontists, it’s important to research their qualifications, experience, and reviews from previous patients. You can also schedule a consultation to meet with the orthodontist in person and understand their approach to orthodontic treatment. This will help you choose an orthodontist who can provide you with the best possible care and help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
At Dental Contract Attorney, we’re a seasoned legal team dedicated to dentistry contracts. Our experience in healthcare equips us to tackle your contract challenges, providing tailored advice to safeguard your interests. To negotiate your contract confidently, reach out for a consultation today.