Best Orthodontics in Lake County IL – Dentist or Orthodontist?
Similar to physicians, dentists are categorized into groups. For example, general dentists care for patients overall oral health, and specialists, such as orthodontists, address specific areas of oral health.
General dentists and orthodontists both provide patients with oral care. In general, Dentists work on a wide variety of oral health issues, including hygiene, tooth and gum care and various decay and structural problems, while Orthodontists are specialists that focus on the alignment of teeth using non-surgical treatments to correct improper positioning.
General dentists provide basic and complex oral care to patients. While patients only need the services of an orthodontist when they have specific problems, general dentists help to resolve problems and oversee preventive and customary care. General dentists provide routine periodic teeth cleaning, checkups, X-rays and instruction on how to care for teeth. They also remove problem teeth, fill cavities, repair cracked and broken teeth and make models for dentures. General dentists must be skilled with a variety of tools, including small pieces of machinery and computer technology, and they typically work with a staff that includes dental assistants and dental hygienists, who help with tasks such as cleanings. General dentists typically refer patients with alignment issues to orthodontists, but this is not always the case.
General dentists may refer patients to specialists if and when necessary. For instance, a dentist might refer a patient to an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth extraction or to an orthodontist for braces. But there are many general dentists that are experienced in oral surgical procedures as well as orthodontic treatment with braces.
Orthodontists are dentists who undergo additional training in orthodontics. They traditionally use braces and other appliances to improve how teeth look and function.
Orthodontic Treatment with Braces
Orthodontic treatment can improve a variety of positioning problems, such as overbite, underbite, crooked teeth and teeth with too much space between them.
Choosing an Orthodontic Provider in Lake County IL
Both general dentists and orthodontists may provide orthodontic treatment with braces. Many patients are happy with receiving orthodontic treatment with braces from a general dentist, while others may prefer to have their orthodontic work performed by a specialist whose entire practice is devoted to orthodontics.
Cost of Dental Braces
The cost of dental braces depends on a variety of factors, including, where you live, the type of orthodontic treatment required and who is providing the treatment, an orthodontist or a general dentist.
Dental braces typically cost several thousand dollars, but there can be a significant difference in pricing. A recent survey of general dentists and orthodontist found that general dentists, on average, charge less than orthodontists for the same or therapeutically equivalent orthodontic treatment.
Can a Dentist that’s not an Orthodontist offer braces?
Patients often ask if a general dentist is allowed to provide orthodontic treatment with braces to their patients or if this can only be done by an orthodontist.
The resounding answer is YES. Most orthodontists would prefer that you did not know this, but, general dentists CAN and DO offer their patients braces. If a general dentist wants to provide orthodontics in his or her practice, then they have to provide a level treatment that measure up to the “standard of care”. This means that if a general dentist is able to straighten and align teeth as well as the average orthodontist, then they can offer braces to their patients.
Do All General Dentists Provide Orthodontic Braces?
Not every general dentist will offer orthodontics. In fact, many general dentists simply refer their orthodontic cases to an orthodontist. It all comes down to what a general dentist enjoys doing. Some general dentists like performing root canals, others enjoy orthodontic treatment with braces, and others choose to refer all of their patients that require root canals or orthodontic treatment.
“Some general dentists, especially more experienced ones, perform hundreds of orthodontic procedures each year. It is regretful to paint all general practitioners with the same broad brush. In addition, restorative care can be much more complex than orthodontics. To imply that “drilling and filling” is mundane is demeaning.”
– Academy of General Dentistry
By no means are we implying that orthodontists aren’t necessary. Orthodontists provide wonderful service to the general public in most cases. We simply want to point out that general dentists can provide excellent orthodontic care to their patients if they participate in the proper continuing education and develop the necessary practical skills and experience.
To learn more about Orthodontic treatment with braces, the different types of braces available and which option may be best for you, contact Den-Care Smile Center at 1-847-DENTIST.
Dr. Gustav Kozina is a licensed provider of General Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontic treatment with braces and accepts most dental insurance plans including Medicaid, Public Aid and All Kids in Illinois.