A healthy smile is even better than a car or a house, do you know why? Because unlike a house or a car, a healthy smile is an asset that can last the rest of your life. Feeling confident in your healthy smile is good for your oral health, increases your self-esteem, and improves your professional and personal opportunities in life, too. An investment in necessary orthodontic treatment is not just an investment in your smile but in yourself and your future.  

As with any investment, you have to do your homework first. When it comes to orthodontics, making sure you get the right kind of orthodontic treatment from a qualified and experienced professional is key to getting great results.

Would You Trust Your Family Doctor to Perform Your Heart Surgery?

Let’s say you went for your annual physical with the GP you’ve seen and trusted for years. At the end of that visit, your GP told you that you needed heart surgery stat. Better yet, they’d be able to perform that heart surgery for less than what the cardiothoracic surgeon down the hall charges. What would you think?

I bet you’d be skeptical. You’d wonder why a general practitioner was talking about performing heart surgery instead of referring you to a specialist. No matter how much you liked and trusted your GP, you would not take the plunge and let them perform heart surgery on you (even for a great price).

It’s the same with dentistry and orthodontics. While many dentists offer orthodontic treatment to their patients, they’re like the GP above – fantastic at what they do, but not able to provide the same level of care as someone trained in a specialty.

The Importance of Specialization

Orthodontists are dentists who have continued their training and studied orthodontics exclusively for two to three years after dental school. They then enter the field focusing on providing orthodontic care only to their patients, rather than things like fillings and crowns, which quickly builds up their hands-on experience in the field. They study the latest in orthodontics to earn their continuing education credits as long as they practice.

In short, they know orthodontics inside and out in a way that a general dentist simply is not able to. This means they’re able to provide care that a general dentist isn’t able to provide.

Take Tom. He was 38 years old when he came to see me, unhappy with his teeth. Two years earlier, he’d started a system of clear aligners to straighten his teeth under the supervision of his dentist, who said that treatment would take eight months. Yet two years on, Tom had the same issue. That’s because his dentists saw crooked teeth and tried to fix that problem. But the real problem was more complex – an underbite, a narrow palate, and crowding. As an orthodontist, I was able to recognize these issues with Tom’s bite that his dentist had missed and come up with a treatment plan that addressed them. Ultimately, Tom needed braces and jaw surgery for optimal oral health.

The Person Behind the Appliance

“A tool is only as good as the person using it.” Perhaps you’ve heard this saying before. It means that you can’t trust a tool to get the job done all on its own; it needs someone who understands how the tool works, and how the problem should be fixed, for it to work right.

In the same way, it’s not the braces that straighten teeth on their own. They work because the specialist who put them on understands how braces work, how teeth move, and in what way teeth need to move to solve existing problems with the teeth, palate, bite, and jaw. Again, an orthodontist, who has studied these issues for years, is in the best position to do this.

Trust a Specialist

An orthodontist with ample experience and a great reputation should be the only person you allow to provide orthodontic treatment. Remember that the changes don’t just affect your teeth but your self-confidence, professional life, and personal life. Your smile is so important – don’t trust it to anyone but an expert.