Most of us know how important it is to find a family dentist and schedule regular visits with them. Cleanings and check-ups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile, but did you know that orthodontists can also play a major role in the proper development of the teeth and jaws?
Many people mistakenly believe that these two dental professions are interchangeable. However, there are some significant differences between them, and understanding what those are can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to your family’s oral health!
Here at Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we believe that educated patients make the best partners as we work towards a healthier and more confident smile. To learn more about why you should trust your family’s smiles to an experienced orthodontist, keep reading below.
What are the differences between a dentist and an orthodontist?
Although orthodontists and dentists both begin their careers in dental school, they go their separate ways after graduation. Dentists must complete four years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school, then pass a rigorous written exam and clinical licensing exam before they can begin practicing.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty requiring additional training. Once they finish dental school, they embark on a two- or three-year residency with a specific focus on diagnosing and correcting orthodontic issues. This additional education includes almost 5,000 hours of orthodontic training! This explains in part why only about 6 percent of dentists go on to become orthodontists. It also means that most general dentists won’t possess anywhere near this kind of expansive orthodontic training and experience.
When it comes to oral health, a dentist is generally looking at the overall picture. Regular checkups help them identify and treat many oral hygiene problems, and they can improve the function and appearance of a patient’s teeth through crowns, veneers, and other cosmetic treatments. Dentists are also trained to spot signs of oral disease and can give you all the advice you’ll need on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Orthodontists tend to provide more specialized care. Because they’re trained in various ways to align the jaws and move the teeth, they can correct a range of orthodontic issues like crowded teeth, overbites, and misalignments. They’re able to do this using orthodontic appliances such as traditional braces, clear aligners, and expanders. Our doctors create a customized treatment plan for every patient based on their specific needs, guaranteeing them personalized care and the best results!
Why should your family see an orthodontist?
There can be some overlap in the services dentists and orthodontists are offering in your area. Because all dentists receive some basic orthodontic training at school, some are capable of providing basic care to their patients, like braces or clear aligners. In general, however, a dentist won’t have the same education, training, or experience that an orthodontist has.
What does that mean for you and your family? If someone develops a toothache or cavity, you’ll want to make the dentist your first stop. But if you’re dealing with a misalignment between the teeth and jaw, crooked teeth, or other issues related to oral development, a certified orthodontic specialist is who you want to see!
If your family dentist offers orthodontic care, it makes sense that you’d consider them as an option. You’re already familiar with their office and staff, and who among us doesn’t prefer the known to the unknown? But before you move forward with orthodontic treatment by your dentist, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what an experienced orthodontist can offer you. This often includes:
- a wider variety of treatment options
- a customized treatment plan built around your unique smile
- more efficient treatments and visits, since orthodontics is the main focus
- the best possible outcome for your smile, especially if your case is more complex or severe
At Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we have a single focus—providing world-class orthodontic care to patients of all ages in the South Oklahoma City, Edmond, and Clinton communities. We put a lot of hard work into perfecting our techniques, and you’ll benefit from the cutting-edge technology we use in our four locations. Since our doctors perform teeth-straightening procedures daily, you can expect unmatched service and superior results.
Choose Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics for a lifetime of healthy smiles
Our expert team is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with a positive and stress-free orthodontic experience, from the first appointment to the last. Our sole specialty is orthodontics, which gives us the experience and expertise to offer affordable treatment options, incredible care, and a lifetime of healthy smiles for you and your entire family!
If you’d like to learn more about what orthodontics has to offer you and your family, we’d love to meet you. When you schedule a consultation with us, you’ll receive a thorough examination by Dr. Farrow or Dr. Dewbre. Following this exam, they’ll walk you through any issues detected and outline a personalized treatment plan for you.
This no-pressure appointment is free of charge, and there are no worries if you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately. Our team will still be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have to help you make an informed decision! You and your family deserve a lifetime of healthy smiles, so get in touch today to schedule your complimentary consultation for one or all of you.