Dentist vs. Orthodontist for Braces

Woman surrounded by question marks

Thinking about getting braces? Or maybe you have just been informed that your child would benefit from treatment with braces. If so, you may be wondering if  you will need to see an orthodontist or whether this is something your own dentist can do. You are already familiar with your dentist’s office and know it is convenient, so you might be reluctant to go elsewhere for orthodontic treatment. There is a misguided assumption out there that dentists and orthodontists are more or less interchangeable. Even though they may share a similarity or two, there are also some significant differences that set them apart.

It is important when looking into orthodontic treatment like braces that you  understand what orthodontists like ours at Castilla Orthodontics have to offer that general dentists do not. To decide which option is best for orthodontic treatments like braces, and to learn more about these important differences, we have put together the informative list below. Read on!

Training and Education

Up until they graduate from dental school, orthodontists and dentists have followed a similar educational path, but graduation is what sets dentist and orthodontists apart. After graduation orthodontists enter into two to three more years of schooling and full-time training that specializes in Orthodontics. This includes a focus on the straightening of teeth, bite problems, and braces. There are a few dentists who might have some supplemental training, but for the most part general dentists will not have the kind of rigorous training that Orthodontists have.

To break it down, orthodontists are dentists who also have additional, specialized training in orthodontics. A dentist may refer to themselves as an orthodontist only after they have successfully completed this orthodontics residency program.

stack of school books

Can My Dentist Straighten My Teeth?

Yes, but only if a dentist has committed to taking continuing education seminars and acquiring experience in the subject are they then allowed to perform orthodontic treatments. However, this is nowhere near a perfect system. Rigorous training and testing are needed to truly learn the extensive and specific knowledge necessary to perform these procedures, and these workshops and seminars completely lack them. To be able to provide the best possible treatment plan for patients, much more than just a surface understanding of orthodontics is necessary.

Pros and Cons of Using Your Dentist

It is not unusual to consider using your primary care dentist for treatment if they offer orthodontic care. Before moving forward with braces by your dentist, consider that experienced orthodontists, like the one here at Castilla Orthodontics, have this to offer:

  • will be able to deliver the best possible outcome on your treatment plan, especially if your case is complicated or severe
  • will be more efficient at treatments and visits, since orthodontics are their only focused area of care
  • will be able to provide more treatment options, with a wide variety of braces and clear aligner therapies to choose from, depending on the particular case
  • will have experience treating multiple cases that are similar to your own

Orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic care, while general dentists practice a wider scope of treatment. We have spent a great deal of time and energy perfecting it, because this is our only specialty! We take advantage of as many continuing education courses as we can throughout the year, purchase the latest equipment, perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and keep up to date on industry practice. Rather than taking the one-size-fits-all approach general dentists are inclined to use, here at Castilla Orthodontics we are well versed in creating the best individualized treatment method for each of our patients.

Dr. Castilla with a patient

Who Should You Choose for Braces?

As the patient, the choice of care provider is always up to you. Orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic issues, and are much more likely to have dealt with the specific dental issues that require orthodontic care than general dentists, who will have had little to no amount of orthodontic experience. The orthodontist at Castilla Orthodontics puts alot of emphasis on optimal, customized treatment approaches. Orthodontists are able to recommend plans that can save you time and money, as well as reduce the chances of any complications developing because they have the training to notice the small things a dentist might overlook. By seeking treatment from someone with knowledge, experience, and a specialized education, you can keep your health and your finances intact.

Quality orthodontics are Castilla Orthodontics one specialty. We provide all of our patients with the best treatment options, cost, efficiency, and results. We offer complimentary consultations so you can see this kind of care in action.  We can determine if orthodontic treatment will benefit your smile after this initial exam is completed. If you do need orthodontic treatment, we can outline a personalized treatment plan for you. Even if you just want a second opinion or decide not to get braces, we are happy to address any concerns you might have in order to help you make an informed decision. Get in touch with us today if you are ready to see how treatment by a qualified orthodontist can transform your smile!