Have you ever wondered why it’s often recommended you see an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign treatment? Many first time patients have questions, and one we hear quite frequently is, “Why can’t I just go to my dentist for braces?” There’s a common misconception that dentists and orthodontists are more or less the same things, but that’s definitely not the reality. There are some very real differences between dentists and orthodontists!
CHT Orthodontics wants to help you understand these differences, and why it’s important to choose an experienced orthodontist for treatment to correct bite and alignment issues.
The Orthodontist Difference
While there are some similarities between orthodontists and dentists, there are also a number of differences that set them apart. Orthodontists and dentists both attend dental school, but after graduation, orthodontists take a different path. There’s additional work and further education required to specialize in straightening teeth.
This is similar to the difference between medical doctors who are general practitioners and those who specialize in fields like cardiology or anesthesiology. Orthodontists are essentially dentists with specialized, additional training.
Dental school can be challenging, but there’s a lot of competition to gain acceptance into an orthodontic residency program. Did you know that only the top 5% of graduates are even considered for admission to a residency? For some programs, only a handful out of the hundreds of applicants received are accepted.
After being admitted into a residency program, orthodontists undergo an additional 2-3 years of full-time training. This training concentrates on orthodontic issues and treatments including braces, bite problems, and straightening teeth. A doctor is only able to advertise as a true orthodontist once he or she successfully completes this intense residency program.
Becoming an orthodontist takes a lot of dedication and hard work!