Dentist Or Orthodontist? Which Do I Choose?
When exploring your dental options. how do you know if you need an Orthodontist or a Dentist? And what are the differences?
Well, we explain all of that right here.
Oral care specialists (such as orthodontists, periodontists), learn the essentials of their specialty and then typically only practice orthodontics – all day, every day.
These specialists do not do fillings, make crowns or false teeth, or perform any other “general dental procedures”.
Dentists who carry out orthodontics, therefore may struggle to recognise when a patient’s needs are beyond the skills they have learned in a weekend or series of part-time courses (which tend not to be recognised by universities as meriting an academic qualification).
The truth is that orthodontics is much more difficult than just putting some braces on some teeth and following a prescribed cookbook approach taught without the necessary breadth of diagnostic and clinical tools.
Dentists can practice orthodontics and many do so successfully, just as your general practitioner doctor can remove a mole or suture a cut. However when it comes to important areas of the face, difficult procedures, possible tumours, things likely to leave scars etc, your general practitioner is unlikely to choose to perform such procedures himself – you will be referred to a medical specialist for better quality of care.
The exact same situation applies to orthodontists and dentists. If the problem is difficult, unusual, or requires the best possible outcome, an orthodontist is much more likely to be able to provide the better quality treatment for you or your children.
Even the cost of treatment is often no different and specialist treatment may actually cost less than well-meaning but ineffective dentist treatment. Health fund rebates are higher for specialist treatments. The single largest area of complaint to Dental Boards in Australia is related to orthodontic treatment provided by general dentists.
Therefore, it is wise to carefully weigh up who you choose to provide the care for your smile that you desire. Dr Tony Weir has been is full time specialist practice of orthodontics for 30 years, and is an Honorary Senior lecturer at the University of Queensland. He lectures nationally and internationally to orthodontists on a regular basis.
As our name suggest. orthodontics is what we do day in and day out, all of the time.
We care for your smiles, and can’t wait to help you achieve your dream result.