Should I be concerned that my Invisalign doctor is not an orthodontist, just general dentistry and a cosmetic specialty?

Doctor Answers 2

"just general dentistry"

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First, let me start by saying that I am a board certified orthodontic specialist - just letting you know where I'm coming from.

Second, I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound derogatory, but saying "just general dentistry" will likely be considered a slap in the face by many general dentists. Everyone who practices any aspect of dentistry was first a general dentist when they got their dental degree. Then, some of us went on to spend extra time, effort and money to focus on an area that we were more interested in (or maybe to avoid some aspects of dental practice that we didn't like very much?).

That being said, there are MANY general dentists who do Invisalign. For most of them, it is their main (or only) way that they offer orthodontic services in house without referring to a specialist. I'm not sure what the actual numbers are, but I think it's safe to say that at least half of the Invisalign treatments being done in the US today are being done by GPs. Many of these general dentists have done more Invisalign cases than many orthodontists (there are many orthodontists who will not do Invisalign at all!).

I agree with the prior answer that having someone who is experienced in Invisalign is VERY important. Seeing examples done by the doctor is also a good idea. Since most orthodontic specialists work closely with the patient's dentist, any other issues that may need to be addressed can usually be done by the general dentist if the orthodontist is good at communicating with that dentist and if they have together collaborated on the overall treatment plan. Communication between these two providers is key to good results!!

Good luck!

P.S. I have gotten into the habit of showing my Invisalign patients their ClinCheck, which shows their final results. That way, they get to see their predicted final outcome before we start! Remember that having to do additional aligners is very common (at least in my practice). Ask your doctor if that would be an option for you.

Should not be if they are experienced

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You should not be concerned, and this could be a big benefit also. Since a cosmetic dentist can look at many things about your smile, they are often going to be the best choice for straightening your teeth. Make sure you choose a dentist or orthodontist who is highly experienced with Invisalign. Before you start your treatment, you should be able to view photographs of cases that that clinician has done. Invisalign takes a lot of training and experience in order to get the great results patients hope for. If you have any other concerns such as whitening or spots or discoloration on your teeth or injuries to teeth, the dentist who is also a cosmetic dentist should be able to address all of those things as well as any gum issues such as a gummy smile.

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.