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Should I Go to an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign?

Person talking to orthodontist

There’s no shortcut to straight, healthy teeth. The key to straighter teeth is time and professional help. 

Are you looking into different treatment options to straighten your teeth? Are you wondering, “How do I get Invisalign?”

Decades ago, the only option for straight teeth was traditional wire braces. They were easily noticeable and uncomfortable. Now, Invisalign has hit the market and is growing in popularity. Invisalign has many benefits but also comes with many questions.

Some of the biggest questions surrounding Invisalign are:

  • Do dentists do Invisalign?
  • Is Invisalign considered orthodontics?
  • Do I need an orthodontist for Invisalign?

As new straightening options like Invisalign become available, it’s best to do your research and learn about them before committing.

Keep reading to get a straight answer (and hopefully one day teeth) from a professional about Invisalign and where to get an Invisalign treatment started today.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a straightening option for your teeth that’s an alternative to traditional wire braces. Instead of wire brackets stuck to your teeth for the duration of the treatment, Invisalign is a series of plastic mouthpieces that fit around your teeth tightly. 

Invisalign is growing in popularity because it’s clear, less invasive, less painful, and removable during meals.

What is the Invisalign Process Like?

An Invisalign treatment is proposed and handled by an oral health professional. This professional consults with you, takes a 3D digital scan of your teeth, and uses software to fit you with a series of clear aligners called “trays.” Every 8 – 12 weeks, you’ll return for a checkup and receive new trays. Over time (months to years, depending on your treatment needs), these trays help your teeth shift into alignment. Once the treatment is complete, you’ll receive retainers to wear to keep your teeth in position (as long as you wear them regularly!).

Sounds simple, right?

Invisalign is simple, but only if you choose the right “professional” to handle your treatment.

The Difference Between Dentists and Orthodontists

When you think of an oral health professional, you may think of dentists and orthodontists. Though they may seem to be the same, they have one big difference.

Dentists attend dental school for four years and receive a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or doctor of dental medicine (DMD) degree. They’re the ones that check your teeth every six months (or at least should be). Dentists perform other general procedures like fillings, crowns, and root canals. 

Orthodontists also graduate from dental school after four years with a DDS or DMD degree but then attend a 2-3 residency to obtain additional training. This extra training focuses specifically on the mechanics and science of moving teeth. Because of this unique training, orthodontists are the teeth moving professionals.

Do you remember when you learned that all squares are rectangles in middle school, but not all rectangles are squares? It’s the same here—all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.

Do Dentists Do Invisalign? 

One of the most significant distinctions between wire braces and Invisalign is who can administer the treatment plan.

In the past, anyone that wanted straighter teeth or a fixed bite went to an orthodontist. The orthodontist would make a treatment plan, fix wire braces in the patient’s mouth, and begin the treatment. After all, they’re the ones with special training in tooth alignment.

Invisalign adds another opportunity for (potentially) straight teeth – directly through your dentist.

So to answer the question above, yes, dentists can do Invisalign.

But the question isn’t really, “Do dentists do Invisalign?” as much as, “Should dentists do Invisalign?”

Do I Need an Orthodontist for Invisalign?

Do you need an orthodontist for Invisalign? Not necessarily. 

But should you see an orthodontist for Invisalign? YES.

Invisalign is a treatment plan that involves moving teeth, which is what orthodontists spend an extra 2-3 years studying and their sole focus every day. Your dentist may be smart and excellent at their dental work; however, they don’t have as much professional training or experience adjusting teeth as an orthodontist possesses.

If you want a highly-trained, experienced professional handling your Invisalign treatment, Invisalign with a dentist or orthodontist is an easy choice—choose an orthodontist.

Where to Get Invisalign

Invisalign offers an opportunity for straight teeth without the traditional trouble that comes with wire braces. It’s an excellent option for those later in life still looking to improve their smile, but it’s also a highly technical procedure that requires special knowledge. Invisalign could be the smile solution you’re looking for, but it’s best to consult a trained orthodontist before beginning.

At Bates Orthodontics, we believe that a great smile is life-changing. We’re transparent in our pricing and won’t recommend a product or procedure that isn’t entirely right for you. We value educating our clients through an in-person consultation and providing expert care every step of the treatment process.

If you’re looking for an Invisalign treatment, our process is simple: 

  1. Receive a free consultation with our expert Invisalign orthodontist 
  2. Create your personalized, affordable Invisalign care plan 
  3. See your treatment through from start to finish

Are you ready to get started on your new smile journey? Our professional orthodontic team is prepared to provide you with a perfect smile today!

Schedule your free consultation with Bates Orthodontics and let us show you why we believe the answer to, “Do I need an orthodontist for Invisalign?” is “yes.”