Only an orthodontist has the training, experience, and the treatment options to give you your best smile. Everyone wants a great smile, and your orthodontist is a specialist in making your smile the best it can be. Straight teeth not only look good, they also give you a good bite; your upper and lower teeth fit together the way they should, so it’s easier to bite, chew, and speak.

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

All orthodontists are dentists,
but only SIX PERCENT of
dentists are orthodontists!

Dentist

  • Cleans teeth
  • Fixes cavities
  • Checks general oral health

Orthodontist

  • Has all general dentist knowledge and expertise
  • Straightens teeth and aligns jaws
  • Has specialized education beyond dental school
  • Can choose the correct treatment from all available options
  • Expert knowledge of new and emerging treatments and technologies

Orthodontists are dentistry’s specialists in moving teeth and aligning jaws to achieve a healthy bite. Only the orthodontist have formal training required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

Orthodontists get to be specialists by graduating from dental school, and then successfully completing an additional 2-3 years of education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. So, there are three steps in an orthodontist’s education: college, dental school and orthodontic residency program. It can take 10 or more years of education after high school to become an orthodontist. Only people who have attained this level of formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are accepted for membership in the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

Orthodontists use a variety of “appliances,” including braces, clear aligner trays and retainers, to move teeth or hold them in their new positions. Because of orthodontists’ advanced education and clinical experience, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to recommend the best kind of appliance to meet every individual patient’s treatment goals.

Do be sure to seek out an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists are dentistry’s specialists in moving teeth and aligning jaws to achieve a healthy bite. Orthodontists get to be specialists by graduating from dental school, and then successfully completing an additional 2-3 years of education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only people who have attained this level of formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are accepted for membership in the AAO. By choosing an AAO member, patients are assured that their doctor truly is an orthodontist.