You already know the benefits of a straight smile go far beyond mere aesthetics. A beautifully aligned smile helps your self esteem and your health, and you’re ready to start your tooth alignment journey. We are lucky to have great tooth alignment technologies at our fingertips, which help us bring you the best, most effective alignment options.
Invisalign specifically is a good straightening option for many patients with minimal crowding, gapping, or slight bite correction. You may have talked with your dentist about Invisalign at your most recent tooth cleaning. While some dentists offer Invisalign and other alignment options, it’s in your best interest to consult an orthodontist for your smile overhaul.
You may be wondering why it’s necessary to see an orthodontist when some general dentists offer Invisalign and other simple straightening techniques. It’s a good question, and we’ll take a look at the answer here.
First off, what’s the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
The training for dentists and orthodontists starts out similarly. Both orthodontists and dentists receive undergraduate degrees and then attend accredited dental schools. Professionals who have attended and passed dental school receive either DDS or DMD degrees. At this point, dentists may begin to practice general dentistry, and orthodontists further their studies with a two- to three-year residency with an accredited orthodontic program.
Orthodontists and dentists both deal with teeth and gums, but orthodontists are specialists and were trained in tooth alignment, jaw and bite correction. Orthodontists have hands-on experience treating alignment issues during their years of residency, where a general dentist does not get hands-on experience straightening teeth in dental school or in the field. Orthodontists are better prepared to create a harmonious relationship between the teeth, jaw, facial muscles and bite. These comprehensive tools will serve patients better throughout treatment. As your teeth gradually shift into their desired positions, your orthodontist will be sure your bite, your speech, and your smile are getting proper care. Because of their extensive experience with healthy tooth alignment, bite correction, and jaw function, orthodontists are better equipped to spot issues that may arise during your treatment.
How’s Your Bite?
Your bite, or the way your upper and lower teeth fit together, affects the way you speak and chew food. You may not realize that an improper bite can also cause unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth. When your teeth rub against each other, the hard enamel can wear down, which could cause pain, sensitivity, discoloration, cracks and chips. Some poor bites also cause jaw strain, which could leave you with head, jaw or neck pain. Orthodontists have a comprehensive understanding of proper and improper bites, and whether you have an open bite, an overbite, an underbite or a cross bite, your orthodontist can work to correct your unique situation. Orthodontists are more qualified than dentists to identify the idiosyncrasies in your bite and work to fix them. When your bite is flawless, you’ll notice that your speech, your digestion, and your self esteem all benefit.
With your treatment and progress in the hands of a well-trusted orthodontist, you can rest assured that your teeth will not only be aligned at the end of your treatment, but your teeth, jaw, facial muscles and bite will all be in perfect harmony.