Why Would an Orthodontist Take Longer with Treatment Than Dentist?

When I went to my dentist, they did my impressions and said my treatment would take about 9 months. I then visited an orthodontist who told me that my jaw is slightly misaligned and that I should see a TMJ doctor ("to make her job easier"). She then said she'd take 18 months for the treatment. I don't know if she meant she would take that long no matter what, or just if I do not see a TMJ doctor. Why is this so? I want to do the treatment that takes half the time and gives the same results. Isn't Invisalign able to correct mild misalignment?

Doctor Answers 2

Orthodontists have more training than general dentists

Orthodontists are specialists and have 2-3 more years of additional training than general or cosmetic dentists. Orthodontists focus on more than just "straightening the teeth." They make sure that the teeth are in the proper occlusion for the best function and long term health of the dentition. This may be the reason why the orthodontist is telling you that the treatment will take longer than the general dentist. It is important that you understand the difference, as well as the difference in treatment outcomes.

New York Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Longer treatments from orthodontists

Sometimes orthodontists are heavy handed when it comes to perfecting a patients smile. They want every molar to be in perfect alignment when all the patient really wants is to have straight teeth. 18 months seems really long for treatment so if I were you I would try to get a third opinion regarding Invisalign and see what they think. Go to the Invisalign website and look for another referral. After the new year the web site will list Dr's in order of their expertise so that will help you a lot.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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