When to see an orthodontist, rather than a dentist?
A dentist is great for check-ups, general dental treatment, repairing damaged and decayed teeth, caring for gums and replacing lost teeth using the latest technology. Although a dentist is a highly trained professional at looking after your dental health needs, dentists do not receive significant training in orthodontics. An orthodontist is a specialist who has three years of additional education from a University and is an expert in straightening teeth.
For orthodontic care, the ASO does not recommend that you risk seeing someone who is not a specialist orthodontist. There are many general dentists offering: what initially appears to be “cheap” treatment; alternative one-size-fits-all solutions; treatments to supposedly avoid braces; or offering quick, rapid or fast treatments. Many of the courses that general dentists do to learn more about orthodontics are for a day or two.
Many of these promises and treatments by general dentists are not backed-up by any science or evidence. It is likely that the results will be unacceptable and will not last without further and more expensive treatment. Such treatments may therefore end-up costing you dearly in terms of your dental health and your hip pocket.
Orthodontists are the only specialists who can accurately give you an informed opinion on the best orthodontic options for your teeth and deal with any difficult issues and unexpected outcomes to help you achieve the smile you desire and a good bite.
To be assured that any practitioner you choose is appropriately accredited and actually is a specialist orthodontist, visit the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency site and view the Code of Practice available here.