An orthodontist is a dentist who has received an additional two to three years of education beyond dental school at an accredited university residency program. Orthodontists are experts in straightening teeth and have extensive experience in determining the best method of treatment to align your teeth and jaws while maintaining your overall dental health. They are familiar with the latest techniques and advancements for excellent orthodontic treatment.
Patients often ask - what is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist? It is important that patients understand this difference in order to find the treatment that is best for them. The difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is similar to the difference between a family doctor and a medical specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon. Both doctors went to medical school and were trained to provide excellent care to their patients. However, the knowledge that an orthopedic surgeon has is more specialized and extensive for that specific area of treatment. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. In fact, only 6% of graduating dentists in the United States go on to become orthodontists. The best way to ensure that you are receiving care from an orthodontist is to verify that they are a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).