Orthodontist vs. General Dentist

Orthodontic Treatment in West Palm Beach, FL

At Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics, our mission is to help patients of all ages achieve beautiful new smiles through premium orthodontic treatment. Our West Palm Beach orthodontists, Dr. Lunsford and Dr. McCaffrey, work closely with patients to design personalized treatment plans, ensuring that orthodontic treatment fits into the busy lifestyles of our patients. And as board-certified orthodontists, our doctors have the specialized knowledge and skills to help patients achieve a healthy smile no matter what – something that can't be said of general dentists.

What's the Difference Between Dentists and Orthodontists?

Both general dentists and orthodontists perform treatments on the teeth and mouth, but the two specialties have fundamentally different goals. Dentistry focuses on the health and integrity of the teeth and gums, while orthodontics is focused purely on the alignment of the teeth. But in addition to a different focus, dentists and orthodontists have different requirements for education and training.

Orthodontists are dental specialists, which means that in addition to four years of general dental school, they complete 2-4 years of additional training in an accredited Orthodontic specialty program. This added training gives orthodontists the expertise to use the complicated technologies and techniques of orthodontics to make permanent changes to the alignment of the teeth, jaws, and facial bones – training that general dentists don't have.

Dentists & Orthodontic Care

Only someone who's completed an accredited orthodontic specialty program can call themselves an orthodontist, but in some states, it's legal for general dentists to offer treatment with braces or Invisalign. However, that doesn't mean that a general dentist has the level of expertise an orthodontist has.

A dentist may be able to move teeth using braces or Invisalign, but the reality is they're lacking the specialized training of an orthodontist – and whereas an orthodontist spends 100% of their time realigning teeth, a general dentist may only spend 5% of their time using braces and Invisalign. This means that in order to achieve the best possible outcome from your orthodontic treatment, you should always choose a licensed, board-certified orthodontist instead of a general dentist.

Schedule a Consultation with Your West Palm Beach Orthodontist

If you're considering straightening your teeth through orthodontic treatment, it's always best to go with a fully-trained orthodontist – and at Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics, we've got two! If you're interested in learning how orthodontic treatment can help you achieve a better smile, request a free consultation with us using our easy online form. We can't wait to hear from you, and we're excited to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!

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