While general dentists are experts in many areas of dentistry and many of them offer orthodontic treatment, only an orthodontist has the specialized training to deliver it. Orthodontists are dentists who have completed an additional 3 years of full time and specialized university training at an accredited institution. Furthermore, all orthodontists practicing in Quebec and most of Canada are currently required to successfully complete the examinations leading to the award of “Fellow” by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (FRCD(C)). Look for these exact FRCD(C) credentials when searching for an orthodontist.
Orthodontic treatment involves a lot more than just straightening your teeth. Careful treatment planning must take place in order to make sure that when you bite, your newly straightened top and bottom teeth fit well together, all by respecting your facial profile and without compromising your oral health. A poorly designed treatment plan using braces or Invisalign® can leave you with a bad bite and more problems with your teeth and jaws than you began with. Unlike in general medicine where you need a prescription from your doctor to see a cardiologist should you need specialized treatment for a heart condition, you do not need a prescription from your dentist to consult with an orthodontist.