What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist in orthodontic treatment (proper alignment of teeth and jaws) and dentofacial orthopedics (guidance of dental, jaw and facial development). Only those who graduate from dental school, usually a four-year program, and who successfully complete an advanced study in orthodontics at an accredited two-to-three year orthodontic residency program, may call themselves “orthodontists.” Orthodontists focus their services on providing orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages in order to create healthy, beautiful smiles.*


Orthodontists have additional education and training when it comes to moving teeth

While there is some instruction regarding orthodontics in dental school, it is minimal. It is in the post-dental school, two-to-three year accredited orthodontic residency program, that orthodontists receive intense instruction to learn proper, safe tooth movement (orthodontics) and the guidance of dental, jaw and facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). These extra years of school make the orthodontist a specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws. This is the focus of their services to patients.*


Orthodontists have more experience with Invisalign

As specialists through education and clinical experience, orthodontists are experts in the diagnosis of orthodontic problems, forms of treatment, the timing of treatment, treatment planning, supervision of treatment, as well as working with patients for long-term stability of their treatment results. The orthodontist’s expertise guides him/her in recommending the type of treatment best suited to correct any specific patients’ orthodontic problem. Orthodontists are not limited to a single kind of orthodontic “appliance.” Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists and have the skills and experience to give you a healthy and beautiful smile.*


Like traditional braces, the Invisalign aligners are simply the tools used by the orthodontist to move the teeth

A common misconception about Invisalign is that the treatment (and the results) will be the same regardless of which provider you see.  This is not true.  Just as the results obtained from traditional bonded braces are not the same in every office, the results obtained from Invisalign will not be the same in every office.

The manufacturer of Invisalign is software company called Align Technology.  Align Technology manufactures the Invisalign aligners per the prescription of the orthodontist.  The orthodontist must accurately diagnose, create the treatment plan and design the appliance.

The orthodontist’s ability to use Invisalign effectively depends on their training and experience through treating thousands of patients and through their years of orthodontic residency following dental school.


Interested in Invisalign?  Call us!

The doctor you choose to align your teeth using either bonded braces or Invisalign should be a highly qualified, well trained orthodontist.  If you’ve been thinking about aligning your teeth with Invisalign, call us to schedule you free consultation.  Let Dr. Coombs use his years of experience to optimize your Invisalign experience for the best results!

*Information from American Association of Orthodontists (www.aaoinfo.org)