We love our referring Dentists.
They are your best friend, because they have your, or your child’s, best interests at heart. There’s a big difference between a General Dentist and an Orthodontist, just like there’s a big difference between your General Physician and your OBGyn. The difference is “Training and Experience.” In the United States all Orthodontic Specialists are Dentists, but only about 5% of Dentists are Orthodontic Specialists, although many General Dentists do some Orthodontic Treatment.
The difference is training and experience. The General Dentist has about 60 hours of formal Orthodontic Training in Dental School, may take some of their Continuing Education requirement as Orthodontic (although most CE Credits will probably be in Restorative Dentistry), and may see an occasional Orthodontic Patient in between doing crowns, cleanings, fillings, etc.
The Orthodontist has the same 60 hours of Orthodontic Training in Dental School, but then has an additional 5,000+ hours of Orthodontic Specialty Training at an accredited University or Hospital Residency Program, and then has the same Continuing Education requirement as all Dentists. The difference is that Orthodontists will schedule most of their CE requirements in Orthodontic oriented courses, rather than in other disciplines. And then there’s the experience factor. Orthodontists do nothing but Orthodontics, and there’s a lot to be said for “experience.”
As I said, we love our referring Dentists. They provide Triage for us, diagnosing the patient as having a resolvable Orthodontic problem, and then referring the patient for the best possible, highest level, of specialty care. If your Dentist says, “Go see an Orthodontist for yourself,” or “Take your child to see an Orthodontist,” listen to him/her. Like any other medical/dental referral it is being made because the general practitioner recognizes a problem that needs further evaluation. Age 7 is the optimum age for a child’s first Orthodontic Examination (complimentary in most Orthodontic Offices, including ours). That doesn’t mean your child needs treatment at 7, but let the Orthodontist decide with you and your Dentist the optimum starting time for your child…don’t compromise treatment by delay. If you need Restorative Treatment and are also contemplating having your teeth straightened, see an Orthodontist BEFORE you have the fillings/crowns/veneers accomplished. That way the Orthodontist can work hand-in-hand with your Restorative Dentist to create the best possible platform on which to do Restorative Treatment, saving you time and money.
Take advantage of our combined 15,000+ hours of exclusive Orthodontic Training and our 70+ years of practicing (and in my case, teaching) Orthodontics Exclusively.
Schedule your complimentary consultation with a Jenkintown Orthodontist today!