As a parent, you put a lot of thought into the care providers you choose for your child. You may ask family and friends to recommend a pediatrician, comb through the Google reviews for the best family dentist in town, and visit multiple daycares before deciding on the one you feel comfortable with. You should put just as much effort into choosing who will take care of their smile! Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining a child’s healthy mouth, but did you know that orthodontists also play an important role in the proper development of their teeth and jaws?
At Periago Orthodontics, we believe dental and orthodontic care go hand-in-hand throughout childhood. The lines between the two have blurred a bit in recent years, however, with many general dentists now offering some form of orthodontic treatment. While there are many similarities between the two, dentists and orthodontists are not interchangeable. Understanding the differences in education and training these two professions receive can help you make an informed decision when it comes to your family’s oral health. Let’s take a closer look at why we believe you should always trust your smile to an orthodontist!
The differences between dentists and orthodontists
Orthodontists and dentists are on a similar path throughout dental school but go their separate ways after graduation. Dentists will complete four years of undergraduate education and four years of dental school. They are required to pass rigorous written and clinical licensing exams before they can begin practicing.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty requiring additional training. Once dental school is complete, an aspiring orthodontist will begin a two- or three-year residency with a specific focus on diagnosing and correcting orthodontic issues. This extra education includes almost 5,000 hours of orthodontic training, so it’s no wonder only 6% percent of dentists go on to become orthodontists! This also means most general dentists won’t possess anywhere near the level of extensive training and experience an orthodontist has had.
Dentists are generally concerned with the “big picture” aspects of a patient’s mouth when it comes to oral health. Regular checkups help them identify and treat many oral hygiene problems, and they can improve the function and appearance of a patient’s teeth with cosmetic and restorative treatments. Dentists are also trained to spot signs of oral disease and give patients expert advice on maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Orthodontists, on the other hand, tend to provide more specialized care. They’ve been trained to align the jaws and move the teeth, so they’re able to correct a range of orthodontic issues like crowded teeth, overbites, and misalignments. Dr. Periago does this using a range of orthodontic appliances such as traditional braces, clear aligners, and expanders. She also creates customized treatment plans for every patient based on their specific needs, ensuring a more rewarding orthodontic experience and long-lasting results our patients love!
Trusting an orthodontist with your family’s smiles
There may be some overlap in the services dentists and orthodontists offer in your area. Every dentist receives some basic orthodontic training at school, and some are capable of providing a certain level of orthodontic care to their patients. This may include braces or clear aligners. In general, however, a dentist won’t have the same education, training, or experience that an orthodontist has.
What does that mean for you and your family? If someone develops a toothache or cavity, you’ll want to make the dentist your first stop. But if you’re dealing with a misalignment between the teeth and jaw, crooked teeth, or other issues related to oral development, a smile specialist like Dr. Periago is who you want to see!
If your family dentist offers orthodontic care, you may be considering this as an option. After all, you’re already familiar with their office and staff, and most of us prefer the known to the unknown! But before you move forward with orthodontic treatment by your dentist, take a moment to consider what experienced orthodontists like Dr. Periago can offer you, such as:
- A wider variety of treatment options
- A customized treatment plan built around your unique smile
- More efficient treatments and visits
- The best possible outcome, especially if your case is complex or severe
Our family-friendly practice is committed to providing world-class care to patients of all ages. We work daily at perfecting our teeth-straightening techniques using the latest in orthodontic techniques and technology. Since this is our main focus, you can expect exceptional results and a more rewarding experience overall.
Put your family’s smiles in expert hands with Periago Orthodontics
Periago Orthodontics is on a mission to provide families in our community with a variety of affordable treatment options, a stress-free orthodontic experience, and a lifetime of healthy smiles. If you’d like to learn more about what orthodontics has to offer you and your family, why not schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Periago?
During your consultation, you’ll receive a comprehensive examination, and our team will walk you through any issues that are present. We’ll also outline a personalized treatment plan for your unique smile. This no-pressure appointment is completely free of charge! If you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, our team will still be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have to help you make an informed decision.