The Difference Between an Orthodontist, Dentist, and At Home Teeth Straightening – Your Phoenix Orthodontist Explains

Not all orthodontists are created equal. In fact, some aren’t orthodontists at all. In today’s post, we’ll uncover the differences between orthodontists, dentists, and DIY dental kits.

When it comes to your smile, it’s important the right person does the job. If not, you could be spending even more trying to fix mistakes that should never have happened in the first place. The primary reason we are bringing this up now is because we see a number of patients that come to our Downtown Phoenix orthodontic office with the following issues:

1) Their regular dentist isn’t giving them the treatment options or results they’re after.

2) That mail-order, do-it-yourself kit isn’t making a lick of difference in their smile.

3) They want efficient and esthetic treatment but were told they weren’t a candidate for Invisalign or DIY straightening kits.

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So, what‘s the deal?

It’s important to know that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists go through years of extra specialized training after dental school with a focus on techniques to correct bite and jaw issues. In fact, our orthodontists at The Smyl Co. in Downtown Phoenix are all Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and are Elite Providers of Invisalign, which means they have the skills to treat even the most complex cases using Invisalign. As much as a do-it-yourself kit seems like the right move, it can be a move in the wrong direction or – in many cases – no direction at all.

What does a dentist do?

Typically, you should visit your dentist twice a year to have them monitor the status of your teeth and gums to ensure a healthy smile. At the dentist, you get your teeth cleaned, gums checked, and have routine x-rays of your teeth taken to ensure there aren’t any evil cavities lurking about that would warrant fillings or other restorations.

What does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is someone who has earned a specialty degree in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. They understand jaw growth and how to correct skeletal and dental malocclusions using different techniques geared toward retraining your bite, making it not only more esthetically pleasing, but healthier, too.

Types of intervention orthodontists do: 

  • Crooked Teeth
  • Traumatic Bite
  • Crossbites
  • Overbites and Underbites
  • Jaw Alignment Issues
  • Blocked Out/Impacted Teeth
  • Dental Crowding and Spacing

Types of care you get with an orthodontist:

  • Jaw and Teeth Specialists
  • High-level of Personal Attention
  • Monitoring your progress during treatment
  • Post-treatment Monitoring
  • Up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatments

What is a Do-It-Yourself Kit?

DIY teeth straightening kits have become popular because you don’t need to see a dentist or an orthodontist. You just send in a few photos of your teeth – and poof – trays are delivered to your door with written instructions on how to use them and when to change them out.

So, what’s the drawback? Too many to count. But, here they are:

1) You get the trays, but you’re not monitored by an orthodontist

2) There are no check-ins to make sure your teeth are progressing like they should

3) You don’t get any personal attention or care – you’re basically on your own

4) They don’t treat significant alignment issues

5) There is no monitoring of the health of the teeth and gums in treatment

6) There are no post-treatment options – once you’re done, you’re done

Moral of the Story:

Don’t trust your smile to anyone but a specialist. And by specialist, we mean an orthodontist. After all, when you go with an orthodontist, you’ll get better care and better results.

At the Smyl Co. Orthodontics in Downtown Phoenix, it’s our priority to make orthodontic treatment work for you– your schedule, your life, your treatment option. We offer flexible appointments that are quick and easy and are located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. In fact, many of our patients come in before work, during their lunch break, or after work. We’re walking distance from major office buildings and are right across the street from the light rail stop.

Our patients enjoy a variety of orthodontic treatment options from high-tech SureSmile braces, Invisalign and Glo Whitening. Our commitment to only using the latest advances in orthodontic technology make it a breeze for our patients to get the best treatment available by The Smyl Co.’s Board-certified orthodontists.

It’s worth it. That’s our promise to you. Get started today with orthodontic treatment in our Downtown Phoenix location! Click here to schedule a free consultation or submit a virtual smile assessment.