Canadian Dentist Vs. Orthodontist for Invisalign

should i go with an orthodontist who has a lot of experience with invisalign or a general dentist who has done only 50 patients? the general dentist is charging $4500 CDN, the ortho is charging a bit over $7000 - but will put elastics on as well (because a have a problem with my right canine being higher and right bite being off).

Doctor Answers 4

Experience with Invisalign is important... check the Invisalign site for doctor search

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Invisalign certification is widespread. A one-day course teaches dentists and orthodontists how to submit patient records and use the 3-D software. They can then put up a sticker in their window about being an Invisalign Certified Provider. It does not teach either professional how to move teeth with Invisalign or mean that that individual has even treated a single patient with Invisalign.

Invisalign's Find A Doctor search tool only lists doctors who have had a certain amount of experience and volume of Invisalign patients within the previous 6 months. There are special designations for those recognized as Premier and Elite Providers and you can narrow your search for orthodontists and dentists, or orthodontists only. This is probably a good starting point.

Tooth movement with Invisalign and braces is drastically different. The former moves teeth by pushing, where as the latter can move teeth by pushing or pulling. A clear understanding of how teeth move with each appliance is most important.

Only a very small percentage of Invisalign providers truly have the experience to correct more than just minor problems. Whether they are a dentist or orthodontist, you should do your due diligence to make sure they have experience with malocclusions such as yours. Invisalign techniques are constantly evolving, so you should find someone who stays up to date as well. Ask for some examples of previous treatment or speak to those currently under treatment in the office.

One consideration to make is that some Invisalign treatments may require the use of fixed braces before or at the end of treatment. An orthodontist is more likely to be able to perfect your teeth if this situation comes up.

There is also the issue of whether you are looking to correct your bite, or simply line up your teeth, but this is an issue that is far beyond the scope of this particular question.

Good luck!

Toronto Orthodontist

Its more than the fees!!!!

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Orthodontist go to full time residency for 2-3 years where they are trained. General Dentist on the other hand go to weekend courses to train themselves to do orthodontics.

Invisalign/orthodontics is more than just putting the front teeth straight. It has to do with overall bite, function and harmony of the teeth, jaws and muscles. As orthodontist we train extensively to see this as a complete system comprehensively.

The fee reflects just that. There are enough analogies I can give you in medical field.

Bobby Virk, DMD, MSD
Bellevue Orthodontist

It's about experience, not specialty designation

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The invisalign doctor search is a good start.  From there look at the number of cases treated, before-after photos, satisfaction of other patients treated, reviews, etc.  In general an orthodontist will have more experience in tooth movement, but not with invisalign.  Both GPs and orthodontists attend the same courses for invisalign training, so if you have a provider with premier or elite status near you, start there regardless of professional designation.  It never hurts to consult with more than one provider.  Try a GP and an orthodontist and decide.  To answer your question directly, if the orthodontist you are considering has treated significantly more invisalign cases, start there.

Carlo Biasucci, DDS
Ontario Dentist

Orthodontists are specialists, so they charge more!

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Orthodontists take the same "weekend seminars" that Dentists take to become Invisalign certified. They do know generally more about tooth movement, but took few to no classes in school for Invisalign, unless they graduated in the last 4 years.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.