From the highly trained, specialist care offered by orthodontists like us—through to general dentists who offer non-specialist treatment, and the recent emergence of mail-order teeth straightening, it can be overwhelming when trying to make an informed decision. To help you understand your options we’ve put together an overview of what you need to consider when it comes to choosing who provides your treatment.
Ultimately who you choose to entrust with your orthodontic care is your decision to make, however at the very least we strongly advise that whoever it is, they must be a specialist orthodontist (like us).
We believe it is important to understand what sets orthodontists apart and why only orthodontists are specialists in orthodontic treatment.
To summarise, orthodontists are expertly qualified to:
As orthodontists we are driven by a duty of care for each and every one of our patients. We strive to ensure that the best possible orthodontic outcomes are achieved. If you are weighing up your options, you should know one thing: that seeing a qualified orthodontist will offer you, and your loved ones, the peace of mind that you are in the most capable hands.
As orthodontists we invest in the best technologies used to diagnose and treat orthodontic problems and we keep up to date with the latest advances. At Freezer Orthodontics we are not just up to date with all these advances, we are at the forefront of the research that helps create them.
It is not always clear who is and who isn’t an orthodontist, especially when any dentist can say they do orthodontics. But the difference is well-defined—as orthodontists we are specialists. Orthodontics is what we live and breathe and we have the training and experience to back it up. Don’t forget—no referral is needed to see an orthodontist.
To help you recognise the differences between orthodontists (like us) and dentists, we’ve listed a few important ones below…
Orthodontists are required to study for longer.
Orthodontists need to study for an additional three years at university to attain their specialist qualification. Dentists do not do this.
Orthodontists are specialists.
An orthodontist is formally recognised as a specialist and is qualified for specialist work. A dentist is not a specialist (dentists are more like GPs for your teeth).
Orthodontists undergo rigorous training and supervision.
As part of their specialist training, orthodontists are required to treat patients with a variety of orthodontic problems under close supervision to university standards.
Orthodontists are qualified from an orthodontic training programme which is continually reviewed and assessed in a formal accreditation process. Dentists do not undergo this type of thorough orthodontic training.
Orthodontists are tested and examined to ensure their specialist capabilities.
Orthodontists are required to undertake, and successfully complete, rigid oral and written examinations to prove adequate orthodontic knowledge. Dentists do not have to pass these tests.
The clinical results of orthodontists are expertly reviewed and assessed.
Orthodontists are required to present treated cases during training to National and International examiners to prove clinical proficiency and competency. Dentists do not have to meet these standards.
Dentists often seek unregulated orthodontic training.
Receives orthodontic training from weekend hotel courses, which are neither government accredited nor regulated
Orthodontists have a very specific and well-honed focus of expertise.
Orthodontists’ professional career is spent solely treating the alignment of teeth and correcting bites. Dentists’ expertise is broad but less focussed.
Orthodontists are trained and experienced in treating all orthodontic issues.
Orthodontists’ training and experience enables them to successfully treat all orthodontic problems regardless of how complex or simple they are. Dentists are likely to have limited treatment abilities and may adopt a one-size-fits-all treatment approach.
Dentists are best to manage general dental health. Orthodontists are not.
While orthodontists are a vital aspect of your oral health, a dentist is best equipped for general dental procedures such as cleaning and polishing teeth, fillings, extractions, root canal treatment and dental plates. Orthodontists will defer procedures to dentists to do what they do best.
Orthodontists never stop advancing.
Orthodontists are required to continually undertake continuing education in orthodontics to maintain their specialisation status. Dentists do not have to do this.