Orthodontist Vs. Dentist

If you’ve been contemplating having orthodontic work done for yourself, or thought about scheduling an orthodontic evaluation for your child, you may have wondered if  this is something your family dentist can handle or if seeing an orthodontist is required. Many people believe the two to be interchangeable (which is understandable!) but in spite of the many similarities, there are also some significant differences that set them apart.

Choosing to invest in orthodontic treatment is a big decision. It’s important to understand what these differences are since you don’t want to trust something as important as your smile to just anyone! 

At Hidden Smiles Orthodontics, we’re proud to provide expert orthodontic care to patients of all ages in the Long Island area. Dr. Parikh is a highly trained and experienced orthodontist. By understanding what she has to offer that other dentists don’t, we believe you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which option is best for your family. Let’s take a closer look at what an orthodontist is to learn more!

Education and training

Dentists and orthodontists both begin their careers in dental school. However, orthodontists take a different path after graduation, one that includes several extra years of specialized training in aligning the teeth and jaws. Because orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, only the top students in any dental school graduating class are accepted. These orthodontic programs will usually last around 2-3 years, with full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and aligners.  

This residency program must be successfully completed before a dentist will be considered an actual orthodontist. So a simple way of saying it is that orthodontists are dentists who also have years of additional specialized training and experience in orthodontics

There are always exceptions to every rule, but in general, a dentists will not possess this level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience.

Orthodontist Vs. Dentist

Does that mean that some dentists can straighten teeth? 

There’s a “yes, but…” answer to this! All dentists will receive some extremely basic orthodontic training in school, and there are some general dentists who can provide quality orthodontic care to their patients. This is often thanks to that particular dentist taking continuing education seminars and acquiring extra orthodontic experience through other training, such as workshops. This is, however, a bit of an imperfect system. Unlike universities and orthodontic programs, workshops and seminars aren’t able to cover such extensive and specific material in any real depth.

If your family dentist offers orthodontic care, you may be considering them as an option. We understand! Everyone likes things that are familiar over big changes. But before you move forward with orthodontic treatment by your dentist, you should consider what an experienced orthodontist will be able to provide you. This includes: 

  • a wider variety of treatment options, from traditional braces to hidden braces to a clear aligner system like Invisalign
  • a customized treatment plan created just for you based on your unique smile, specific needs, and desired results
  • more efficient treatments and visits, since orthodontics is the main focus
  • the best possible outcome for your smile, particularly if your case is complex or severe

Here at Hidden Smiles Orthodontics, our only focus is orthodontic care and treatment. That’s why we put so much time, energy, and work into perfecting our techniques! Our expert team, led by Dr. Parikh, performs teeth straightening procedures daily. We also keep up to date on the latest in industry practice, and team members regularly attend continuing education courses. Our Huntington office is equipped with the most current orthodontic equipment, and we’re committed to providing you with nothing but the best in high-quality, individualized orthodontic care!

Specialized treatment = the straightest smiles

As the patient, your choice of care provider is up to you. When it comes to your oral health and the way your mouth functions, we think it just makes sense to go with an orthodontist who has had specialized education, training, and experience. While a general dentist can perform specialized orthodontic work in theory, it’s a little bit like having a family doctor perform a surgical procedure. As the saying goes, just because something can be done, it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done!

Orthodontic care can also help avoid any unnecessary complications. An orthodontist like Dr. Parikh is more likely to notice the small things that a general dentist may overlook, and will only recommend the appropriate treatment plan for you. This means treatment times are reduced, there’s less chance of complications developing, and the treatment plan itself will be both time and cost effective.

Orthodontist Vs. Dentist

Choose Hidden Smiles Orthodontics for the best in expert orthodontic care

For an optimal orthodontic experience, you can’t do better than Hidden Smiles Orthodontics! We offer high-quality treatment plans and unmatched care from your first appointment to your last. Since our sole specialty is orthodontics, we have the experience and expertise necessary to give you nothing but the best in treatments, cost, and efficiency.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards a healthier smile, our team would love to meet you and help you understand how orthodontic treatment could benefit your smile! When you schedule a FREE consultation with our office, you’ll receive a thorough examination by Dr. Parikh. Following this exam, she’ll provide a diagnosis and outline a personalized treatment plan just for you. This is a no-pressure appointment! Even if you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, we’ll be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have in order to help you make an informed decision.

There’s never been a better time to get the smile you’ve always wanted, so get in touch today to schedule your complimentary consultation, or click here to take our Virtual Smile Assessment!

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