by Dr. Lavonne Fore

To get the smile you’ve always wanted and to set yourself up for great oral health for the future, you’ll need to get orthodontic treatment from trustworthy people. The process to straighten your teeth takes precision and careful supervision to achieve. In order to become a licensed orthodontist, a large amount of specialized training is needed.

The Difference Between Dentists and Orthodontists

It’s a common misconception that any dentist can successfully prescribe braces or Invisalign and supervise an orthodontic treatment. The reality is all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, “While there’s some instruction regarding orthodontics in dental school, it is minimal. It’s in the orthodontic residency program that orthodontists receive intensive instruction to learn proper, safe tooth movement (orthodontics) and the guidance of dental, jaw and facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). These extra years of schooling make the orthodontist the dental specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws. This is the only focus of their practice.”

Orthodontic Training

If a dentist wants to open up an orthodontic practice, they will need to complete an additional two to three years of training, including completing a residency. If an orthodontist wants to specialize in a specific type of treatment, they will have to further continue their training. For instance, to become an expert in the Invisalign clear aligner system, they will need to find a residency that includes training on how to prescribe and supervise this form of treatment.

Continuous Training

Even when an orthodontist completes the required training for the type of practice they want to start with their own specialities, their education still continues. Orthodontists keep learning about the latest treatment options and best practices as they go along. For instance, all of our doctors learned how to use the iTero scanner to gather accurate dental imagery and plan treatment for patients. Our doctors also attend continuing education sessions and conferences, allowing them to stay up to date on best practices new options for their patients.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we staff our team with a careful selection of doctors who have undergone rigorous training and proven themselves in their specialties. Don’t simply rely on your dentist to prescribe braces or Invisalign. And definitely don’t fall for the temptation of mail-order braces. When you choose Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, you’ll get the careful supervision of a dedicated team of highly educated professionals. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!