June 15, 2022
One major difference between braces and Invisalign is their availability. General dentists rarely provide braces, but many of them do offer Invisalign treatment.
While you don’t necessarily need to visit an orthodontist for clear aligners, the real question is whether you should.
What are the differences between a dentist and an orthodontist, and which one will achieve better results with Invisalign?
This article explores the factors that matter most when choosing an Invisalign provider. Considering them will help you make an informed decision for yourself or your child.
Although dentists and orthodontists are similar in many ways, they fulfill different functions in the dental field. Patients should be aware of the differences in order to choose the right professional for their needs.
Here are the biggest ways in which dentists and orthodontists differ, and how they will affect your Invisalign journey.
While general dentists can become Invisalign providers, they lack the specialized training that orthodontists have. An orthodontist has taken additional years to learn the complexities of orthodontic care, and that makes them more qualified to treat your smile with Invisalign.
To become a general dentist, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree followed by a doctorate degree in dentistry. While an aspiring orthodontist must do the same, they also must complete 2 to 3 years of post-doctoral education. This is one of the biggest differences between dentists and orthodontists.
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, only 1 in 15 applicants get accepted into orthodontic residency. Once accepted, students receive comprehensive training on tooth movement (orthodontics) and facial movement (dentofacial orthopedics).
When choosing between a dentist and an orthodontist for Invisalign, consider the experience level that each professional offers. Top-ranked orthodontists offer higher-quality care, and they’re better suited to provide treatment that meets your individual needs.
While some general dentists offer Invisalign, they are limited in their expertise and may only have a few hours of training in orthodontics. Since they offer many additional services such as crowns, fillings, and cleanings, general dentists spend less time straightening teeth than orthodontists.
By definition, an orthodontist focuses on correcting misalignment of the teeth and jaw. This is exactly what Invisalign is designed to do, so it follows that an orthodontist can use this tool more efficiently and effectively.
Orthodontists have many years of training that general dentists don't, and they are completely dedicated to the art of aligning teeth. In addition, orthodontists have more hands-on experience in treating smile alignment issues, reducing the likelihood of complications during treatment.
While you can get Invisalign treatment at a general dentist or an orthodontist, the process will vary depending on which professional you visit. This is because an orthodontist uses cutting-edge technology that most dental offices do not have.
For example, an Invisalign orthodontist has access to iTero Digital Scanning equipment. This allows the orthodontist to take a precise 3D model of your mouth and send it to the Invisalign lab electronically. With 3D impressions, the orthodontist can show you how your new smile will look after Invisalign treatment.
In contrast, most general dentists use putty to take impressions of your teeth. This approach is messy and unpleasant, and you’ll have to wait for the Invisalign lab to receive your impressions through the mail.
At Sharp Orthodontics, we also use a Dental Monitoring app to track your treatment progress remotely. This reduces the number of appointments that you’ll need, and it can also speed up your treatment!
Both dentists and orthodontists use modern technology. However, an orthodontist has access to the best tools when it comes to straightening teeth. If you want your Invisalign treatment to be as effective and comfortable as possible, there is no better option than an experienced orthodontist.
Over 12 million people have transformed their smiles with Invisalign, and it’s easy to see why. Compared to traditional braces, clear aligners are more comfortable and less noticeable.
There are many benefits to choosing a general dentist for Invisalign treatment. Visiting your family dentist is convenient; and, in some cases, the upfront cost for Invisalign will be cheaper.
However, there are many factors that make an orthodontist the superior choice for Invisalign treatment. Orthodontists have more training, more experience in tooth movement, and better technology. These factors combined mean that your Invisalign treatment will be more effective and more efficient in the hands of an orthodontist.
As you search for an Invisalign provider, look for a professional who not only offers Invisalign, but one who has successfully treated a large number of patients with Invisalign. Luckily, Invisalign has developed a “tier” system to rank providers based on the number of patients they’ve treated with Invisalign aligners.
Sharp Orthodontics is a Diamond Plus Invisalign provider, meaning that they have successfully treated over 200,000 Invisalign patients.
Choosing an orthodontist at the Diamond Plus tier ensures that you’ll get the highest-quality care from dedicated Invisalign experts.
Ready to get started with Invisalign treatment? If you’re located in Springfield or Branson, Missouri, contact Sharp Orthodontics today for a complimentary smile assessment!