What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist specializing in treating, diagnosing, and preventing dental malocclusions. This includes the use of braces, retainers, and other dental appliances. Tooth doctors are typically licensed to provide these treatments to patients as needed.
The field of orthodontics is commonly divided into three areas. These divisions are made not only by specialty but also by the setting in which they practice. Some generalizations can be made, however.
In the United States, dentists are licensed by individual states and granted the authority to grant a license to practice in that state. Many states require an undergraduate or graduate degree in dentistry. However, some may only require a dental degree, and others may allow a tooth doctor to hold a degree in a specialized field such as oral surgery. The minimum level of education needed to practice varies by state. In some states, a general dentist will be qualified to become a tooth doctor.
In Canada, tooth doctors must meet certain requirements before they are licensed by the Orthodontic Society of Canada and obtain a license from the local regulatory body. They must complete a university degree in dentistry and two years of residency training in orthodontics. They must also complete an additional one-year residency in general dentistry.
A dentist must be a registered member of The Society of Orthodontists and be eligible to work in the U.K. To be registered with the Society of Orthodontists, a person must hold a BDS degree (or equivalent qualification). Without being registered with Society, it is not legal to practice orthodontics.
Orthodontists create a Custom Treatment Plan for Each Patient.
Each patient is different. So is every smile. A treatment plan that works for one patient may not work for another. A dentist's job is to evaluate a patient's needs, develop a treatment plan that is individualized and effective, and then execute the project while ensuring the patient's long-term oral health. A dentist may sometimes recommend additional treatments, such as gum grafting, to improve the functionality of the patient's teeth.
Dentists usually maintain their offices in a private building. Orthodontic offices may also be part of a health center, orthodontic practice, or free-standing facility. An orthodontic practice may provide general, pediatric, or specialty care.
Dentists who offer Invisalign treatment may also be called Invisalign Providers. The highest level of certification in the United States is the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is a national organization established to certify dentists who meet rigid qualification standards and demonstrate expertise in continuous professional development.
The ABO offers a two-part examination for certification: Phase 1 is a multiple-choice test that all candidates must pass to take the clinical phase. Phase 2 is the clinical examination. Candidates must pass both phases to be certified by the ABO.
While most states require a license to practice orthodontics, others do the same and are not licensed. These include dental assistants, oral surgeons, and dentists who take extra training. Removable braces, fixed braces, and Orthognathic surgery are three examples of orthodontic treatments.