Orthodontist vs. dentist – what’s the difference?

As more and more patients are seeking to straighten their smiles, it’s becoming increasingly common for general dentists to offer orthodontic treatment solutions. Though dentists can be certified to provide Invisalign treatment and most dental schools teach their students orthodontic basics, it’s important to research any doctor’s qualifications before beginning treatment.

So, what makes an orthodontist different from a dentist? Though both groups attend dental school, orthodontists go on to complete an additional two to three years of school and training upon graduation.

Orthodontic schooling includes unique, specific training focused on dentofacial orthopedics, as well as an orthodontic residency. This advanced education, combined with the residency experience, makes orthodontists uniquely qualified in their field. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), only doctors who have successfully completed this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.”

While some patients do successfully complete orthodontic treatment through their general dentists, the best way to ensure successful, professional treatment is to visit a certified orthodontist, like Dr. Styrt. Just this month, Global News covered the story of a Canadian woman who deeply regretted having her dentist provide her with braces – it actually made her teeth worse! You can check out the full story here.

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, be sure to research your doctor’s credentials and qualifications! You can learn all about Dr. Styrt’s education here on our website. Feel free to call our office if you have any questions or would like to schedule your initial consultation!

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