When Should You See an Orthodontist Instead of a Dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes nine specialties within the dentistry field. These specialties require added education beyond the already-intensive dental school. One of these that Dr. Tu Nguyen and the staff at AT Dental in Lawrenceville, GA know well is orthodontics. This dental specialty is centered around malocclusion -- misalignment of the teeth and/or jaw. Orthodontists specialize in finding solutions to correct malocclusions.
Dr. Nguyen has undergone numerous continuing education courses in orthodontics to learn more about this dental specialty. He offers several tooth-straightening services at his Lawrenceville, GA orthodontist’s office. These include Invisalign treatment, which uses clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth instead of requiring a person to wear braces. Dr. Nguyen also offers another orthodontic treatment option to treat temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD, often referred to as TMJ).
Because dental misalignment can cause pain and cosmetic concerns, you must utilize the right medical specialist. As a general rule, you should see an orthodontist when your teeth may require significant interventions.
You can typically see a general dentist for minor orthodontic issues. This could include when a single tooth or a few teeth are slightly misaligned. In this instance, orthodontic treatments are more about perfecting an almost-straight smile.
However, when your bite is misaligned or your teeth have severe misalignment issues, such as a large gap between your teeth and a tooth or teeth that are protruding, twisted or otherwise out of place.
Another way to decide between an orthodontist and general dentist is to consider this example: If you required open-heart surgery, you would likely choose a cardiac surgeon over a general one. This is because the cardiac surgeon is a specialist and has additional training to ideally provide the best possible outcome. While the general surgeon may be the better choice for a minor surgery, a major surgery requires a specialist -- in our case, an orthodontist.
To learn more about orthodontic services at AT Dental, please contact our Lawrenceville, GA orthodontist’s office at (770) 277-0774.