Why Choose An Orthodontist?

Why Choose An Orthodontist?
Posted on 08/10/2015
This is a question that Dr. Heller is asked all the time, commonly followed up with - what's the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?  The answer lies in the training, experience, and value that an orthodontist brings to the table. 

Additional Education 

Orthodontists are uniquely trained specialists that have received additional education for 2-3 years full time after dental school in an accredited orthodontic residency program (as opposed to a few weekend courses). The additional years of education an orthodontist receives is largely focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of all types of malocclusions and misalignments of the jaw. This specialized training would be similar, say for example, to the extra years of training an obstetrician (OBGYN) would endure in their medical residency after their general medical education. In both cases, each professional is better prepared to recognize potential problems before they occur, and appropriately respond to any unexpected complications.

Greater Experience 

The next thing that differentiates an orthodontist from a general dentist is experience.  Because an orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, correcting facial profiles, and creating healthy smiles, they treat a countless number of cases each year.  A general dentist, on the other hand, may see only a hand-full of cases per year in between their usual cavity fillings or six-month checkups. A combination of specialized training and greater amount of experience allows orthodontists to realize the complexities in their patient’s circumstance and craft a customized treatment accordingly. 

Affordability & Value

You might be surprised that orthodontist fees are typically nearly the same as a general dentist. The reason is efficiency.  An orthodontist and their expertly trained staff have their office arranged to specifically devote all their efforts and attention towards orthodontic care.  On the other hand, a general dentist and staff may have an occasional orthodontic appointment in between a teeth cleaning, drilling or filling so it takes more time to get their technology and staff in order. To be clear there are many well-trained and highly capable general dentists that can treat less complicated cases with great results.  But, it’s always wise to see an orthodontist to help you achieve the beautiful smile you've always wanted!