Orthodontist or Dentist?

Orthodontist or Dentist?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, interception, and treatment of dentofacial anomalies (also called malocclusions). The practice of this discipline requires great professional skills and training to adequately develop treatment plans and use orthopedic corrective appliances necessary to align teeth, jaws and soft tissues contributing to dentofacial harmony and function.

How to become an orthodontist?

  • The orthodontist is first a dentist but is also a highly trained specialist whose expertise is the alignment and coordination of teeth and jaws in children, adolescents, and adults. The orthodontist does not work in other areas of dentistry like periodontics (gum treatments), prosthodontics (crowns, bridges, dental implants, partial or complete dentures), endodontics (root canal treatments), or surgery (teeth extractions and surgical interventions).
  • To become a certified orthodontist, a qualified dentist (who has obtained a PhD after a 4- or 5-years dentistry program) must successfully complete a 2- to 3-year full-time residency program in orthodontics that is recognized by the Ordre des dentistes du Québec (ODQ) and the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) (competent authorities).
  • The post-graduate program leading to the certificate or master’s degree in orthodontics must also be recognized by the Commission on dental accreditation of Canada that verify all programs every seven years. The approval of this commission means that the program is an accredited orthodontic program.
  • According to the Quebec Association of Orthodontists, only dentists who have successfully completed this academic training may use the orthodontist title.

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

A general dentist is similar to your family doctor: he or she is the perfect person to assess your oral health, examine your mouth and teeth, repair cavities, replace missing teeth, etc. An orthodontist, on the other hand, is a specialist who has two to three years of training in the field of orthodontics and who is an expert in teeth alignment, correction of malocclusions and dentofacial orthopedics.

The orthodontist knows which treatment option best suits your needs.

Association-canadienne-des-orthodontistes-logo

Who to choose for adults’ or children’s orthodontic treatments?

Would you leave your mechanic in charge of your heart problems?

Certainly not! You’d probably see a cardiologist just as you would consult a dermatologist for skin problems and a mechanic for your car engine. If you are looking for the best treatment possible for you or one of your family members, trust a certified orthodontist with extensive training and experience.

Here are some questions you could ask orthodontic treatment providers:

  • What degrees or certifications do you have?
  • What specialized training have you received in orthodontics? Where were you trained and for how long?
  • Car-lift-garage1Are you pursuing ongoing training in orthodontics?
  • What is your experience?
  • Do you offer other types of treatments?
  • What kind of orthodontic appliances do you use?
  • What technology do you use to facilitate diagnosis and treatment?
  • Do you work with other specialists?
  • Do you treat adults, complex cases, interdisciplinary cases?
  • Do you do preventative care and treatments for children?
  • Are you offering compromise treatments (when possible)?
  • What are the alternatives to the suggested treatment?
  • How many similar cases have you treated and what was the success rate? Can you show me such cases? Has there been any failures?
  • Are you a member of a professional organization like the Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO), the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the of Quebec Association of Orthodontists, the American Board of Orthodontists, etc.?
  • Are you involved in teaching or research?

Tailored treatment solutions

  • These days, there are several types of treatments: simple, complex, interdisciplinary, comprehensive and “compromise” treatments. These treatments can use fixed or removable appliances, lingual braces, transparent aligners, etc.
  • Each of these treatments has its pros and cons, and it may seem difficult to find the right one. But you can trust that your orthodontist has the knowledge to determine the best treatment plan for a particular case in order to meet your expectations.
  • The orthodontist has the expertise to assess and identify all the peculiarities of your mouth and teeth in order to develop a tailored treatment plan for you. As he or she works regularly with a wide range of orthodontic appliances, your orthodontist can pick the best one according to your situation.
  • The certified orthodontist has more than 4 000 hours of additional training in orthodontics (and related sciences) beyond the general basic dental training.

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