Do You Need to See an Orthodontist for Invisalign?

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If you want to straighten your teeth, you have likely considered Invisalign, billed as “the clear alternative to braces.” The treatment is readily available at many dentists’ offices, but you might wonder whether to see an orthodontist instead. Here is what you should know.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign replaces the wires and metal brackets of traditional braces with a series of clear, custom-fitted, medical grade aligner trays. You will wear each aligner for one week or as directed, and then change to the next one at home. This gently shifts your teeth into their desired position. Since Invisalign is nearly invisible, no one needs to know that you are straightening your teeth. In addition, Invisalign can be removed, allowing you to eat your favorite foods and perform your oral hygiene routine as normal.

What Does a Dentist Do?

A dentist is a generalist in oral health. He or she has the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent future dental problems and to restore teeth that are decayed or damaged. Dentists perform comprehensive examinations and X-rays, and offer such treatments as fillings, root canals, dental bridges, and crowns. Some dentists also have additional training in cosmetic procedures including dental implants, veneers, tooth whitening, and Invisalign.

What Does an Orthodontist Do?

An orthodontist is a specialist in dental irregularities such as crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, and problems with the bite. Your orthodontist will examine the way your teeth come together and make recommendations for improving the functionality and form of your bite. An orthodontist has completed dental school and then becomes a specialist in the field of orthodontics with in depth knowledge of the physiology of tooth movement. This is not typically learned in dental school but rather in an orthodontic residency program which provides the orthodontist with the knowledge of how to move teeth in the safest and most desirable way.

Should I See a Dentist or an Orthodontist for Invisalign?

If you have slight crowding or gaps between your teeth, you might be fine with a dentist who has training in Invisalign. These run of the mill issues are relatively easy to treat. However, since a dentist is a generalist, he or she likely has less experience than an orthodontist does with specialized procedures such as Invisalign. After all, dentists are responsible for preventing and correcting all sorts of dental issues. Orthodontists specialize in fixing dental irregularities, which means they have a great deal of experience with more complex bite issues. If your orthodontic issues are more complex, it is recommended visiting an orthodontist for treatment. At Park Avenue Orthodontics, our team is highly skilled in correcting all sorts of dental irregularities with Invisalign or Invisalign teen. We also offer a variety of other orthodontic solutions, such as Insignia customized braces and Damon braces. We will carefully examine your teeth and bite structure to determine exactly which treatment is best for your unique needs. For complex situations and those whose smile needs to be absolutely perfect, seeking treatment from a skilled orthodontist is highly advised. If you are looking for a Manhattan orthodontist who is highly skilled and experienced, with a passion for helping others, please call Park Avenue Orthodontics today at 212-452-2777 to schedule your first appointment. We are committed to solving even the toughest orthodontic challenges in a caring and professional manner.