Common Questions About Orthodontics
At what age should I take my child to an orthodontist?
Children should be seen by age 8-9 for an orthodontic consultation.
If my child needs orthodontic work, won’t my dentist make the referral?
Not always. Most dentists are concerned with checking for cavities and gum disease, and have less training when it comes to orthodontic issues. So, regardless of whether or not your dentist has made a referral, it is a good idea to have your child seen by an orthodontist by age 8-9.
How do I choose the right orthodontist?
It helps to ask for a referral, either from a dentist you trust, or from a friend. Even with a referral, though, you would be wise to ask a few questions before finalizing your decision: • Who will do the majority of the treatment? Will it be the orthodontist, or a hygienist/assistant? • How much time will the doctor spend with me at each visit? • What is a typical waiting time in your waiting room? • How easy is it to get an appointment, and do you have after-school hours? • How easy is it to get to your office? (Remember, you will be going there every month) • Are you an orthodontist or a general dentist?
My dentist does braces or Invisalign. Is he/she also an orthodontist?
No. The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist is the same as the difference between a family doctor and a medical specialist. Specialists are doctors who have extensive training beyond that of a general practitioner. You wouldn’t go to a family doctor for plastic surgery – you’d see a specialist. In the same way, it makes sense to have a specialist perform your orthodontics, to give you or your child the best, healthiest, and most stable results.
I just want Invisalign - why does it matter who does it?
Invisalign is a tool, not a treatment. In the same way a carpenter might use a hammer, an orthodontist uses Invisalign – and the quality of the result very much depends on the skill of the user. It takes the training of a specialist to get the best results, regardless of whether the tools used are braces, retainers, or Invisalign.
Dr. Jeremy Kellerstein