These days, many general and pediatric dentists offer aligner therapy for their patients. You can’t beat this in terms of convenience—after all, you or your child are already familiar with the office. The price of this convenience might just be results that fall short of your expectations, though. Here’s why you should see an orthodontist for clear aligners rather than a dentist.
The Difference Between Dentists and Orthodontists
Dentists and orthodontists have a lot in common. Both earn a DMD or DDS degree from an accredited dental school, and both professions aim to help patients maintain or restore optimal oral health. There is, however, a significant difference between the two—only orthodontists go on to receive an additional two to three years of education and training focusing on facial development and the alignment of the teeth and jaw.
In other words, straightening teeth and improving jaw alignment is the heart of what we do and the focus of our practice. A dentist may have some training from Invisalign, but it’s not the same as the in-depth education and experience that orthodontists have. Dental specialities are much like medical ones—there’s a time and a place to go to your family doctor, but there are other circumstances in which a cardiologist, oncologist, or pulmonologist are needed.
Why Seeing an Orthodontist Matters
Dentists who offer orthodontic services typically only offer aligner therapy. An orthodontist offers a complete range of orthodontic appliances, so we can help you determine the very best option for your needs. Clear aligners aren’t a fit for everyone; while they might straighten your teeth just fine, they may leave other problems inadequately treated.
Because we only do orthodontics—not crowns, fillings, bridges, and dental implants—we have more experience treating a wide range of cases, including complex ones. Instead of relying on a computer to tell us what needs to happen with your smile, we create a custom treatment plan based on our extensive knowledge and education.
Orthodontists also have the right tools for the job. We take digital impressions, rather than using messy and inaccurate impression material, and our office has an advanced three-dimensional CBCT scanner machine, which allows us to generate low radiation 3D imaging of the teeth and jaw so we can create a model for treatment planning purposes.
The Benefits of Integrative Orthodontics
When you’re looking for an orthodontist for aligner therapy, consider an integrative orthodontist. This approach to orthodontics acknowledges the connection between a patient’s teeth and jaw development, their facial appearance, and their overall health.
At Berkshire Integrative Orthodontics, we offer Berkshire Clear Align, an affordable treatment option for patients who need only minor adjustments. Straighter teeth are healthier teeth—once your aligner therapy is complete, you will have teeth that are easier to keep clean and less prone to damage from abnormal wear or bite issues.