You and your family may have been seeing your family dentist for years, but now either you or your children need orthodontic care. You may be wondering if your family dentist can provide the orthodontic care you need. Do you need to see a specialist, and if so, how do you find a qualified orthodontist? Here's a look at these answers and more to clarify what makes a quality orthodontist.
Dentist vs. OrthodontistNot all oral health practitioners are alike. Dentists are trained in basic oral care, such as oral health, tooth growth, fillings, X-rays, teeth cleaning and more. A dentist training in orthodontic care, however, is quite limited. An orthodontist, on the other hand, must first become a dentist and then complete an additional two to three years of schooling specifically in orthodontic care. Technically, dentists are still permitted to handle orthodontic services, but they cannot claim to specialize in the services like an orthodontist can.
How to Find a Quality OrthodontistWhen searching for a quality orthodontist, you should consider several factors, including:
- Credentials - You want to work with a board-certified orthodontist. This means that the orthodontist has completed all the necessary training to become a professional orthodontist and successfully passed the licensing exam.
- Experience - You also want to find an orthodontist who has years of experience working with children and/or adults, depending on your specific needs.
- Reputation - Try to find an orthodontist that has a good reputation for serving his patients. Online review sites or recommendations from friends, family members or coworkers can be a good place to start.