Who should I see about braces?

You would not let an electrician work on your plumbing, would you? Just because an electrician is a skilled journeyman, it does not mean they are capable of fixing everything in your home. The same is true when it comes to dentists and orthodontists, the two are definitely not interchangeable. While dentists are skilled at cleaning your teeth and fixing cavities, the task of straightening teeth should be left to the professionals: Orthodontists. Think of dentists as the security guards good at watching your stuff, but when your car gets stolen you are gonna want to have the detectives down at the police department on the case. It is important to understand what orthodontists like Dr. Ollins have to offer when looking into orthodontic treatments for you or your child.  Let us take a look at all those differences between dentist and orthodontists, and decide why an orthodontist like Dr. Ollins is the best choice!

Training and education

All orthodontists and dentists graduate from dental school, but only orthodontists continue on for more education and training. Only the top students in the class are allowed to continue their training upon completion of dental school. It is extremely competitive to try and receive an acceptance into an orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists will undergo an additional two to three years of full-time training that concentrates on all the aspects of orthodontia like braces, bite problems, and the straightening of teeth. Dentists do not receive this kind of rigorous supplementary training. Orthodontists are dentists who have specialized, additional training. It is a lot like the difference between an elementary school teacher and a college professor. They are both teachers but the professor has completed a Master’s and often times a PhD. So think of your orthodontist as the most scholarly dentist around!

Can general dentists straighten teeth?

You could say yes, but you could also let the cashier at Target change your car’s oil. Just because he says he can do it, does not mean you should let him. If a dentist wants to be able do orthodontic treatments they must commit to taking continuing education seminars and acquiring experience in the subject, and are required to attend specific workshops before they are allowed to offer a treatment like Invisalign in their practice. Be warned however, that these workshops and seminars lack the kind of rigorous testing and examinations needed to learn such extensive and specific material in depth. A superficial understanding of orthodontics is not enough to provide the correct treatment for patients.

Stack of books

Should I consider a dentist for orthodontic treatment?

It is not uncommon to consider your general dentist for orthodontic care. You are comfortable with your regular dental practice, and Dr. Ollins gets that. But before signing on for braces treatment with someone who did not spend that extra few years in school mastering all aspects of orthodontia, you might want to ask yourself some questions like:

  • Are you confident, REALLY confident, that your dentist can provide the same level of orthodontic care that a licensed orthodontist would?
  • Compared to a licensed orthodontist, how much orthodontic training does your dentist have?
  • How many times has your dentist done this? A few? A lot? Never?

Has your dentist ever had to refer a case like yours out to a licensed orthodontist?

Orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic care and treatment, unlike general dentists. Since this is Dr. Ollins specialty, he has devoted a lot of time and energy to perfecting it, even more than his long game! He performs teeth straightening procedures daily, stays up to date on all the latest industry practice, purchases the latest equipment, and continues to participate in orthodontic classes and workshops to keep his skills sharp. Experienced orthodontists like Dr. Ollins knows how important it is to create an individualized treatment method for each patient, while a general dentist may be more inclined to use a one-size-fits-all approach. Stay away from the elastic waistbands when it comes to orthodontics!

A dentist or an orthodontist for braces?

If you found out that you needed brain surgery, would you like your primary care physician to do it or a neurosurgeon? I think we all want the specialist working on our noodle when it comes to brain surgery. The same goes for your teeth.  Cleary, the orthodontist is the the brain surgeon in this scenario. Do not leave your important teeth work to the regular guy. It is true that a few general dentists might have a fair amount of orthodontic experience. But remember that orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic issues.

Young black woman smiling with braces

Ollins Orthodontics for all your orthodontic needs

Do not seek treatment from someone who may have less knowledge, experience, and specialized education that puts both your health and finances at risk. At Ollins Orthodontics, our sole specialty IS orthodontics. Being specialized allows us to offer our patients the best quality, cost, and efficiency in treatment. You could buy a motorcycle from a car dealer, but would not you rather buy it from a Harley dealer?

If you are in Essex County, and in need or curious about treatment, give us a call and explore all the ways that an experienced orthodontist can improve your smile. Dr. Ollins and his team are dedicated to providing personalized treatment that is affordable, efficient, and transformative!