All orthodontists are dentists first. Out of 100 dental school graduates, only six are chosen to go on to be orthodontists.There are three steps in an orthodontist's education: college, dental school, and an accredited orthodontic residency program. It can take 10 or more years of education after high school to become an orthodontist. The orthodontic student learns the skills to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).
* Only those who have sucesfully completed this formal education may call themselves "orthodontists."
* Orthodontists limit their scope of work to orthdontics only.
* Orthodontists are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orthodontic problems. They dedicate their lives to creating healthy, beautiful smiles in children, teens, and adullts. Well-aligned teeth are more attractive; they make it possible to bite, chew, and speak effictively. Orthodontic care is often part of a comprehensive oral health plan.
* Orthodontists use a variety of "appliances," including braces, clear aligner trays, and retainers to move teeth and to hold them in their new positions. Because of orthodontists' advanced education and clinical experience, they have the knowledge and skils necessary to recommend the best kind of appliances to meet every individual patient's treatment goals.
*Only orthodontists are eligible for menbership in the American association of Orthodontists.
Choosing an orthodontist is a big decision. Ask someone you trust who has first-hand experience. Whether it’s a friend, physician, coworker, family member, or neighbor, that person will probably be more than happy to share his or her first-hand experience. Your general dentist is also a great resource. Ask if his or her children have had braces, and which orthodontist they used.
Consider education and experience
Before you set up a consultation with an orthodontist, make sure he or she is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontists. This ensures the doctor remains up to date on the newest and most effective clinical procedures.
Select an orthodontist with the same care you would use in selecting a plastic surgeon.
No two orthodontists are alike in their natural ability, esthetic sensibility, training, and treatment results. The treatment options and alternatives offered, timing of stages, and completeness of the treatment plan varies considerably.
It’s important to feel comfortable with your orthodontist and staff. Do you feel that the doctor really listened and paid attention to your concerns and priorities? Is the staff friendly and helpful? Was the diagnosis and problem list clearely explained? Did they explain how the treatment plan would address the problems? Were alternatives offered? Did they take the time to answer all your questions? Did the fee quoted include everything associated with the entire course of treatment from diagnositc records to retainers? Were the financial arrangements offered were flexible enough to work for you, and did they take into account your particular circumstances?
Orthodontist or general dentist?
Choosing an orthodontic specialist instead of a general dentist for your orthodontic treatment is a decision that could make a huge difference in your smile. Orthodontics is a big investment in your health and confidence, and the function and appearance of your smile. Why would you trust anyone less than a specialist?
It has been our experience that generalist's treatments are limited, yet they cost the same as the specialist's comprehensive plans. A practice dedicated solely to orthodontics, gives an orthodontist the unique ability to create a customized treatment plan and carry out safe, predictable, and efficient treatment.