Alpharetta, GA – We live in a world of convenience. But when it comes to your smile, it’s important to put experience and expertise before convenience.
“Many general dentists today are offering some orthodontic treatments in their offices,” says Dr. Nima, a certified orthodontist in Alpharetta. “While it may seem like a great convenience to only have to go to one office, it’s important to remember that only a trained and certified orthodontic specialist has the unique knowledge needed to understand the complexities of moving teeth.”
One treatment that many dentists are offering in their offices is Invisalign. Patients love Invisalign because it offers a convenient and comfortable way to straighten the teeth discretely.
But no technology can take the place of experience and expertise. And that’s why you should only receive Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment from a trained and certified orthodontist.
Dentists and orthodontists all start on the same educational path. They must both get a bachelor’s degree before applying to dental school. Once accepted to dental school, each completes a four year doctoral program. But at the end of this program, a dentist is ready to begin practicing general dentistry.
To become an orthodontist though, the dentist must then complete a residency program, lasting two to three years, in an orthodontics program approved by the American Dental Association. That is roughly over 26,000 hours’ worth of additional training and that doesn’t even include the additional after hours lab work they must complete. Then, the orthodontist will go on to become certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. Keep in mind, that most orthodontist will complete additional training even after their residency is completed.
In short, every orthodontist is a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist.
While a dentist may legally perform dental procedures that include orthodontics, only a trained orthodontist will have the unique skills needed to diagnose, prevent and treat orthodontic issues. They commit their lives and their careers to creating beautiful, functional smiles.
Think of it this way, you would not go to a general physician for heart surgery. You would see a cardiovascular surgeon for this. You should think of orthodontic treatment that very same way. Just like cardiovascular surgeons have many extra years of training of how the heart functions, orthodontist focus solely on moving teeth, harmonizing jaw structure with your smile, and optimizing your bite.
“Orthodontics is not one-size fits all,” says Dr. Nima. “And that’s why the experience of an orthodontist is so important. We have seen so many cases of varying degrees of difficulty, and we’ll have the knowledge needed to know precisely how to handle your problem to ensure you can bite, speak and chew effectively, and smile with confidence.”
Invisalign is a wonderful technology, but it has its limits. The trained eye of an orthodontist will be able to tell you if you are an ideal candidate for Invisalign. For some patients, other treatment, such as braces or a combination of the two, may be a better option to achieve a properly functioning bite.
“Your dentist may use Invisalign…But without the knowledge of how teeth move, and what the proper relationship between the jaw, facial muscles and other tissues should be, the dentist can’t recommend the proper treatment to provide the best result.”
The Invisalign process starts when your orthodontist submits impressions of your teeth to Align. These are used to create a digital model of your teeth from which your orthodontist can determine your diagnosis and craft a treatment plan. This 3-D model isn’t created by orthodontists, or examined by orthodontists. It is created by computer technicians – not trained dental specialists. Read this post to learn more about Invisalign Common Questions.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who offers Invisalign is an orthodontist. Our friend, Dr. Rooz from Porth Personalized Orthodontics in Sammamish, puts it best, “While general dentists and orthodontists have the same initial training, the difference lies in the expertise.” Anyone can order a set of aligners, but only a trained orthodontist will know how to properly diagnose and change the treatment plan to get the ideal results.
An orthodontist will know how to properly prescribe the aligners to move the teeth the precise way that will guide your teeth to the right locations. Orthodontists know the biology and physics needed to offer the most beautiful, healthy and stable bite at the end of treatment.
Orthodontists have treated thousands of patients. That means your orthodontist knows how quickly teeth can safely move, when attachments will be needed to offer the best result, and everything in between.
Any dentist can use Invisalign, but that doesn’t mean he or she will have the knowledge needed to perfect your smile. You deserve to the most beautiful and functional smile possible. You also deserve to have an orthodontic specialist provide it for you!
If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign, contact Dr. Nima today for a complimentary initial consultation.