Can Dentists Do Braces?

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Here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we have been improving smiles across Los Angeles since 2008. Led by Dr. Monica Madan, our team uses the latest technology to ensure treatment is as comfortable and effective as possible. 

Depending on the specific alignment problems and patient preferences, we may use a combination of methods and appliances during treatment. For example, we frequently use Invisalign, accelerated orthodontic devices, and dental monitoring applications in our treatment plans to craft them around each individual patient’s unique needs. In our BHO toolbox, we also use one of the most tried-and-true orthodontic devices: braces.

Versatile, reliable, and available to patients of nearly all ages, braces have been used since the birth of orthodontics to eliminate alignment problems and provide patients with perfect smiles. Braces have also improved over time, as hardware advancements have made braces smaller, more comfortable, and more effective than ever before.

Although orthodontists have used braces treatments for well over a century, many misconceptions about them endure—including where to turn for treatment. In fact, some of the most frequent questions we hear from patients include, “Can dentists do braces?” and, “Why do I need to see an orthodontist for braces?”

To clear up any confusion about the roles of a dentist vs. those of an orthodontist, we have created this basic overview on braces and why you should always visit a professional orthodontic practice like BHO for any alignment work:

Can Dentists Do Braces? The Vast Majority Can’t—and You Don’t Want Them To

Broadly speaking, there are some general dentists in the U.S. that do provide their patients with orthodontic services. However, dentists are not orthodontists. In other words, general dentists have not received the education and training required to move teeth with care and precision. 

Dentistry is a large field that contains many different specialty areas. After graduating from dental school, dentists can either immediately begin practicing general dentistry or attend another two-to-four-year program to become a specialist. For example, you may have visited (or heard of) some of the following specialists:

  • Endodontists, who focus on treating complex and painful tooth problems related to dental pulp and tooth roots.
  • Pediatric dentists, who provide dental care to patients under the age of 21.
  • Periodontists, who diagnose, treat, and prevent gum disease.

All together, the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards currently recognizes 12 dental specialties—orthodontics being one of them. 

Orthodontists attend four additional years of schooling to learn about bite issues and how to correct them. The extra education provides orthodontists with insight into:

  • How teeth meet together and function
  • How teeth are set in jaws
  • The causes of crooked teeth and tooth gaps
  • Different jaw positions and sizes
  • How to correct alignment problems effectively and comfortably

General dentists do not receive this kind of specialized training, which limits the efficacy of their attempts at orthodontic care.

How an Orthodontist Can Improve Your Smile

When it comes to braces, no general dentist will be able to give you the quality of care that a professional orthodontist can. Although dentists can learn how to use Invisalign or how to provide braces through informal programs, these programs don’t teach dentists what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. 

Essentially, dentists can learn to use specific programs or perform certain procedures, but they won’t understand the science behind what they’re doing. In a similar fashion, asking “Can dentists do braces?” is like asking “Can a family doctor deliver my baby?” That doctor may be able to deliver the baby, but they won’t foresee any complications coming, nor will they be able to address them effectively. 

Orthodontists, on the other hand, have the education and experience necessary to provide holistic care. At BHO, we create all of our treatment plans with each patient’s specific needs and lifestyle preferences in mind. For example, depending on what issues a patient is dealing with, we may combine some of the following elements to create the perfect care plan:

  • Braces
  • Invisalign
  • Accelerated orthodontic devices/procedures
  • Correctional surgery
  • Additional orthodontic appliances

If any issues do occur, our team can quickly identify the problem and design a solution. If you showed up in a general dentist’s office with the very same problems, you would require a referral to an orthodontist, leaving you frustrated with extra appointments, lost time, and misaligned teeth. 

Your smile is important and deserves high-quality care. If you want the best results from your orthodontic treatment, you want to partner with an expert.

Ready for Braces? Call One of BHO’s Four Los Angeles-Area Offices to Begin Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is a complicated process. 

While braces offer completely safe, reliable, and effective treatment in the hands of an expert, it’s important to remember that they are still medical devices. Orthodontists like BHO’s Dr. Madan attend years of advanced education to learn how to safely treat patients with braces—dentists do not. 

Although dentists offer essential services that keep our teeth healthy and bright, they are not trained to move teeth themselves. 

If you have dental alignment issues, you want to work with an orthodontist. At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, our team of experts understands how to craft patient-specific treatment plans that utilize the latest hardware and digital tools. With these skills, we can help you obtain a perfect smile with speed and comfort. Call one of our offices today to schedule an appointment!