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Posts tagged ‘what is an orthodontist’

What about Invisalign?

Mendieta Orthodontics

"Where you and your smile are going places!"

I always get questions about Invisalign when my patients come in for an orthodontic consultation. There are many reasons to opt for Invisalign.  Some of the reasons include: not having metal around your teeth, Invisalign can be less irritable to your gums and tissue since your teeth are only surrounded by the plastic trays, Invisalign is removable so you can take them off to eat, and it is easier to keep your teeth clean without trying to brush around the wires.

So why doesn’t everyone get them?

For starters, they tend to cost more than the traditional braces you get from your orthodontist.  Some general dentists will offer the Invisalign for a low price but keep in mind a general dentist and an orthodontist are not the same.  The orthodontist is a specialist in moving teeth around with braces and Invisalign.  The orthodontist went to school for an average of 2-3 years after dental school and tends to have a few more tricks up his/her sleeve to finish treatment efficiently.  This makes sense since orthodontics is what an orthodontist does exclusively. (CLICK for more information)

Along with cost being a factor, not all patients can benefit from Invisalign and many fair better with the wider range of techniques that traditional braces offers.  In cases where patients have severe rotations and crowding, braces can lead to a shorter treatment time with better results.

If you or your child has a history of loosing things or does not remember to follow instructions, the Invisalign can lead to a longer treatment time because there are about 30 trays patients cycle through as the treatment progresses.  If one of those trays gets lost or is not worn adequately, the tooth movement will be suspended or the alignment of the teeth may get worse before it starts to get better again.  If you are a repeat offender you may be constantly “catching up” to your treatment.

I like the Invisalign and the results can be fantastic but it is just not for everyone.  Get in touch with us for any questions or visit us for your consultation! 

Dr. Mendieta

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What is an orthodontist?

"Yo si hablo Espanol"- Dr. Mendieta

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An orthodontist has 2-3 years of specialized education beyond dental school and is a specialist at straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function.  This is a brief description of what the American Association of Orthodontists website reads.  Let me put it into more practical terms.  We relate dental structures to the jaws and then in turn relate the jaws to the cranio-facial structures of the patient.  There are a number of ways to analyze these dimensions which make the specialty challenging and fun.  In addition to analyzing them we as Orthodontist make the diagnosis and put in a plan to achieve and optimum aesthetics, function, and balance.  This takes a years to master.  An Orthodontist will only practice Orthodontics which is why many agree to see a specialist in Orthodontics when a patient merits treatment for “braces”.

To get back to the American Association of Orthodontists take on it:

Orthodontists receive more formal education than dentists to specialize in straightening teeth. Like dentists, orthodontists graduate from dental school. Then, to be an orthodontist, it takes an additional two to three academic years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontists are dentistry’s specialists in straightening teeth and aligning jaws to create optimal function and form. Orthodontists only practice orthodontics. They treat hundreds of patients a year, drawing on tried-and-true and new orthodontic appliance technologies to get patients to the best results. Orthodontists have knowledge of the full range of orthodontic appliance “tools”—including braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic devices. They know what to use and when because they work with these tools every day. Orthodontists build on their knowledge of orthodontics through on-going continuing education in orthodontic technology and practice.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Mendieta