When it comes to achieving the perfect smile, you want to make sure you’re in good hands. While dentists and orthodontists have a lot in common, specialisation is what sets an orthodontist apart.
Think of it like the difference between your family GP and a specialist physician such as a cardiologist or a paediatrician. Your family’s general dentist will be able to help you to improve your overall oral health, but a specialist orthodontist is the only properly qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat dental or facial irregularities, and correctly align your teeth, bite and jaws.
As well as completing a five year degree in dentistry, an orthodontist also undergoes a further 5,000 hours of specialist training in the field of orthodontics. Whether you or your child are being treated with braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign, you need to be sure you’re being treated by an orthodontist to get the best results.
If you’re not sure if your practitioner is a specialist orthodontist, there are a few easy ways to find out.
Use ASO’s Find an Orthodontist tool
Every member of the Australian Society of Orthodontists is a registered specialist orthodontist. Our Find an Orthodontist tool helps you to locate your nearest practitioner, safe in the knowledge that they are qualified to the highest standards.
Look for the logo!
Most members of the Australian Society of Orthodontists display a sticker or sign in their window which shows they are member of the ASO and therefore a registered specialist orthodontist. Keep an eye out for the light blue logo in the window of your orthodontist’s practice.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website has the details of all registered health professionals in the country, including general dentists and dental specialists such as orthodontists. You can easily search their records to find out your practitioner’s credentials. Look for the registration type ‘Dentist – Specialist’ to confirm they are an orthodontist.
If in doubt, ask!
It’s always best to check whether or not your orthodontist is a registered specialist with an independent organisation. However, as a final option you can always speak to the receptionist at your orthodontist’s practice if you’re still not sure.
About this blog
The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) is the peak body for Orthodontists and orthodontic knowledge across Australia.
Orthodontics Australia by the ASO, is the ASO’s public information and advice channel. Our blog and social media platforms have been designed to assist your research efforts and help you understand the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist, your orthodontic treatment options, the results you can expect and the journey along the way.
Of course, we can help you find registered orthodontists too with no referral needed! We hope you find this resource helpful and it gives you the confidence to take the next step in achieving the smile you’ve always wanted. If you’re unsure of where to find a registered orthodontist, check the Find An Orthodontist tool on the ASO website.