Your smile has the power to leave a true, lasting impression. Navigating treatment related to straightening your teeth is best left to an orthodontic specialist, like our very own Dr. Sheinis! Entrusting such an important task to the right doctor can affect the long-term results. Our team at Shiney Smiles Orthodontics is here to discuss the difference between choosing orthodontic treatment with an orthodontic specialist versus with a general practitioner or non-specialist!
Different Roles and Responsibilities
General practitioners, or dentists, focus on helping you maintain your general oral health. They work to diagnose and treat common complications that can be solved with teeth in their current position. You probably receive checkups through their offices twice a year to ensure your teeth are staying clean and you are maintaining the best oral hygiene.
Specializing in the alignment of the teeth and jaw, orthodontists work to straighten teeth and create individualized treatment plans based on the needs of each patient. They deal with complex orthodontic cases and play a crucial role in monitoring your teeth progression over a shorter period of time than dentists.
In short, dentists work with overall health and treat general issues you may experience, while orthodontists specialize in adjusting your teeth to the proper position after having moved over the years.
Experience and Training
General Practitioners Are Qualified In General Dentistry
The education needed to become a dentist includes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree from a university, pass the Dental Admissions Test, as well as complete dental school over the next four years while earning their license to practice at the same time. Putting in just over eight years of training, dentists have mastered how to care for patients’ general health and diagnose common dental issues. They are also taught how to recognize when to send their patients to a specialist.
Orthodontists Are Qualified In Orthodontic Treatment
Dentists first, orthodontists first mastered what it means to be a top-notch general practitioner before moving on to more specialized work. After completing the 8 years of training mentioned above, Dr. Sheinis and other orthodontists further underwent an orthodontic residency lasting three years to gain extensive knowledge in the many ways in which teeth misalignment occurs and how to properly fix it, resulting in positive, long-term results.
Totaling a minimum of a decade of training, orthodontists are able to offer an expert opinion in complex cases focused on teeth alignment. Years are spent studying this specific area, whereas a dentist could give you a simpler, educated guess as to how to proceed.
In fact, only about 6% of dentists move on to orthodontic graduate programs, also known as residency. This small, highly dedicated group undergoes difficult training that cements knowledge in their craft. This commitment to excellence equips them with the advanced understanding and skills required to provide expert care and the highest standard of orthodontic service.
Specific Treatments Each Profession Focuses On
General Practitioners Master General Issues
As mentioned, dentists focus on more general issues patients endure. A non-exhaustive list dentists can diagnose and/or treat include:
- Teeth cleanings and overall oral health: During your check-up, your dentist will give your teeth a routine clean to remove any plaque or tartar buildup, thus ensuring long-term health.
- Biannual checkups: An effort to look after your general oral health, your dentist can help in diagnosing and treating the other general issues early before they become complex.
- Gum care (and work to prevent gum disease): Your dentist can share with you the best way to brush your gums and how to floss, among other ways to promote gum health and avoid gum disease.
- Cavity filling and prevention: Treating cavities and educating patients on the best way to avoid them is key.
- Root canals: When dealing with an infected tooth, a root canal is performed by your dentist in order to save the tooth from further damage.
Each of these crucial services helps to maintain the foundation of your oral health. How well you preserve it affects the chances of more complex issues taking over.
The Orthodontist Specialist Difference
Dealing with proper teeth and jaw alignment, orthodontists are able to treat bite issues (overbite, underbite, and open bite), crowded or crooked teeth, and jaw pain.
- InBrace Hidden braces: A small wire masked behind your teeth for guided, hidden realignment.
- Clear aligners: Offering both Invisalign and 3M Clarity aligners, this sleek, custom-made choice offers a discreet treatment option for those who want to straighten their teeth without traditional braces.
- Metal braces: A traditional and reliable option, metal braces have dramatically advanced over the years and continue to be a popular option among patients.
- Clear braces: A hybrid choice, these ceramic braces offer the effectiveness of traditional braces with the subtle, invisible look of clear aligners.
While general dentists do not hold the same extensive knowledge that comes with years of additional orthodontic schooling, offering orthodontic services as a non-specialist may result in you not receiving the same level of high-quality, individual care specialists are required to master.
Unlock Your Best Smile With An Orthodontic Specialist Today!
Dentists are a vital resource in helping patients achieve great oral health and keeping their teeth clean. However, when it comes to working on your smile, Dr. Sheinis and the Shiney Smiles Orthodontics team are the ones you want by your side. From detailed planning to personalized care plans, they are able to handle even the most complex cases with ease and assistance from their team.
If you are interested in getting orthodontic work done on your teeth, contact our Huntington or Woodbury offices today to receive a free consultation with Dr. Sheinis. Your smile will be in expert hands!