When discovering they have a need for dental braces, many people have questions about who they should go to for the necessary orthodontic treatment. With many general dentists attending condensed training programs or continuing education seminars, it can be tempting to “go with who you know”. Dr. Greg Greenberg and his team at RxSmile in Frisco recommend choosing an orthodontic specialist for placing dental braces for two main reasons: training and experience.
Certified Orthodontic Specialist
All orthodontists and general dentists earn either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree. Less than 6% of these graduates then continue postdoctoral training in orthodontics from an accredited university to become a certified orthodontist.
Orthodontic Specialist Post Graduate Training
This additional orthodontic post graduate education involves 2-3 years of rigorous specialty training in a residency program. Under the supervision of experienced orthodontists, they learn to master how to safely and properly move teeth and apply corrective treatment. It is during their residency that orthodontists gain their keen understanding of facial and jaw alignment. Through observation and hands-on application, orthodontists become highly trained in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting structural problems connected to the teeth and jaws.
While there are many capable general dentists who can achieve acceptable orthodontic results in uncomplicated cases, a seemingly simple case can easily become a complex case during treatment. An Orthodontic Specialist is much more prepared to handle any type of complication because he or she has been trained specifically to do so.
Experience is also a major factor in choosing who will place your child’s (or your) braces. Even the best general dentist who has some orthodontic training does not spend all day placing braces. Orthodontists straighten teeth all day, every day. It’s what they do! Most orthodontists treat hundreds of new patients each year. There are very few situations that Orthodontists have not already seen and treated. Orthodontists can typically differentiate simple cases from complex cases right away and are trained and experienced in handling more challenging cases.
An Orthodontic Specialist offers a more efficient and exacting result in treatment outcomes.
In many situations, orthodontists can also offer more treatment options than a general dentist. Because orthodontists continue to expand their knowledge of new techniques and technology, they can offer the best and most up-to-date methods of orthodontic treatment available. Orthodontists usually have a greater range of retainers and types of dental braces to offer their patients, as well.
Don’t Try to Be an Orthodontic Specialist at Home!
Knowing the benefits of using an orthodontist for straightening your teeth has also become of vital
importance in light of the multitude of dangerous do-it-yourself (DIY), direct mail, at-home, and quick-fix orthodontic methods that have been touted on the internet recently. Do-it-yourself (DIY) braces, such as those that utilize 3D imaging and gap bands, and direct mail order braces are becoming a popular yet dangerous trend which can cause long-term damage to your teeth and gums, as well as pose other serious health risks. While some of these methods actually do straighten teeth, the roots and bone can be harmed by moving teeth too fast, and the new straightened teeth can cause misalignment among the other teeth, throwing off the bite and/or causing jaw pain.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recently published a consumer alert stating, in part, that “…Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist…Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, which may result in expensive and lifelong dental problems…”
Some at-home orthodontics are definitely more dangerous than others, but using any method to move your teeth without an in-person consultation with a dental professional who physically examines your mouth, teeth, and gums (including x-rays) has the potential to cause more harm than good. Moving teeth without dental supervision can lead to TMJ disorder, root resorption, gum recession, fractured teeth, tooth loss and more.
Simply put, orthodontics is only as effective as the expertise of the one who designs and applies them. Treatments that work in theory may not take into account all of the complex biological factors of the individual patient. Knowing the intricacies of how teeth move and when to make adjustments on wires or aligners is essential to a successful orthodontic outcome. Low-cost, fast orthodontic treatments that claim all the benefits of comprehensive orthodontics without time-consuming appointments can put patients at risk of long-lasting dental damage. Orthodontics is a procedure that you want to be right the first time. Undergoing any orthodontic treatment without the guidance of a qualified orthodontist is not only risky, but can be extremely costly to repair and, in some cases, even dangerous.
When making a decision as important as moving your teeth, don’t compromise. Use an Orthodontic Specialist with extensive education and expertise for the safest, most effective way to achieve the most ideal result possible with comprehensive orthodontics.
Our goal at the RxSmile Frisco orthodontics office with Dr. Greg Greenberg is to provide highly personalized and comprehensive orthodontic care for our families in the Frisco-Plano metropolitan area. If you have questions about braces and would like to make an appointment with our orthodontist, Dr. Greg Greenberg, please call 972 335 1300 Monday through Thursday, or submit an online appointment request and we will respond within one business day.