Do I need Braces and if so, Orthodontist or General Dentist? (photos)

I have been recommended for braces for my overbite by two general dentists. One dentist wanted to do Invisalign, and the dentist where I currently reside (San Diego), wants to go with ceramic braces. I have suffered from mild TMJ, with headaches and neck stiffness, for about 15 years. I saw a TMJ specialist who made me a split that relieves the headaches, which I worry about retriggering. Do you think I should a) treat the overbite and b) is a general dentist typically qualified to do this?

Doctor Answers 2

General Dentist or Orthodontist for Braces?

A general dentist is not "typically qualified" to do orthodontics. However, if a general dentist has spent the appropriate time and resources to qualify him or herself to do orthodontic treatment then of course the general dentist is as qualified, if not more qualified, than a typical orthodontist. 
A well-trained general dentist is perhaps more qualified to treat a patient with symptoms of TMD who requires orthodontic treatment than a typical orthodontist specialist because they are qualified to use restorative intervention when appropriate whereas an orthodontist cannot. 
Invisalign is contraindicated for a patient with symptoms of TMD and Invisalign would not adequately address your needs even if you didn't have TMD. 
You have underdeveloped dental arches and a deep overbite; both of which are contributing to your TMD. By developing your dental arches and opening your bite you will improve your TMD, give yourself a broader more beautiful smile, improve your profile, improve your lip support and improve your airway health. 
When interviewing dentists/orthodontists ask them these important questions: How will your proposed treatment affect my TMJ? Will your treatment affect my facial aesthetics? If they can't speak intelligently on these two questions you need to keep looking.
Good luck!

TMD treatment

Generally either a qualified general dentist or an orthodontist can treat your orthodontic concerns. However given the fact that you suffer from TMD, I highly recommend that you seek the care of a Neuromuscular dentist in your area. He can work closely with your orthodontist, or if he has orthodontic experience can treat that as well. Your TMD issues needs to be addressed by an experienced provider who can treat both.
All the best,

Navid Zamani, DMD
Los Angeles Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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.