Are orthodontists only needed for difficult cases?

Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
This is a trick question because it may take an orthodontist to determine whether or not a case is difficult or not. Some seemingly easy cases can be changed into difficult surgery cases merely by placing the brackets in the wrong place. The advantage that orthodontists have over general dentists who do braces "part time" is that they have the training and experience necessary to recognize which cases are easy and which are difficult. Would you go to your family physician for minor eye surgeries?

If you have an abnormal bite your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten out your smile. Orthodontic treatment may be provided by your dentist or an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. It will depend on the orthodontic experience of your dentist and the severity of your case.

Orthodontists can diagnose and develop treatment plans for simple and very difficult cases. Because of the orthodontists' specialty training, they are trained to deal with a wide variety of challenging mouths. Some people may have needs that go beyond orthodontic care alone, so an orthodontist might need to have you see an oral surgeon, endodontist, periodontist, or some other dental specialist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.