You may have heard that many dentists now offer orthodontic treatment. Is that safe, and does it mean orthodontists will become obsolete – kind of like 8-track players?
OutRank by Rogers is a marketing and advertising company that happens to have a large clientele of general dentists. One of their observant customer service associates thought they were seeing a new trend in keyword optimization among their dental clients and began gathering statistics to see if they were actually onto something. It turns out they were. The numbers revealed there was a 34 percent increase in dentists optimizing for Invisalign, invisible braces, aligners and smile correction- essentially, orthodontic treatment.
We know this news –whether it’s old or new to you – has probably invoked a few of the following questions, so allow us to quell your curiosities.
Why are dentists offering orthodontic treatment?
I believe it’s a simple case of supply and demand,” says Dr. Mark Bronsky of Bronsky Orthodontics NYC. “People have always wanted to look their best and in today’s society, they’re doing something about it – especially adults.”
The number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment increased by 14 percent from 2010 to 2012, according to the American Association of Orthodontists’ The Economics of Orthodontics survey.
Braces are a no-brainer for people who have crooked teeth and want to improve their appearance. There are also benefits including a reduced risk for tooth decay, periodontal disease and stress on the chewing muscles.
“The Invisalign system is predictable, well-controlled and ideal for dentists seeking to capitalize on the increase of patients seeking orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Bronsky.
Is it safe for dentists to offer Invisalign?
All dental providers must attain the same doctorate degree from an accredited dental school to become a general dentist or branch into a specialty. Essentially, everyone has to become a general dentist first. General dentists can typically go straight into practice following dental school, while those planning to specialize – like orthodontists – must complete at least an additional two–year residency in their chosen field.
The additional schooling dentists receive to become orthodontists is extremely important. For at least two years, they delve into the intricacies of a proper bite, tooth movement and diagnosing and treating dental and facial irregularities. Only about six percent of dentists become orthodontists.
A general dentist can become an Invisalign provider by taking an eight-hour course.
Does this mean orthodontists will become extinct?
Since general dentists tend to only offer Invisalign and similar products, which can only be used to treat certain mild to moderate cases of malocclusions, orthodontists are still needed to provide traditional orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign cannot correct the following common oral discrepancies:
- skeletal issues
- narrow bite
- impacted teeth
Invisalign also requires a level of discipline (aligners must be worn 22 hours per day) that most young children do not possess.
Orthodontists have more experience
Not only do orthodontists opt for additional schooling regarding malocclusion correction, they have more experience doing it, as 100 percent of their patient base consists of patients seeking or undergoing orthodontic treatment.
“No two orthodontic cases are quite alike, and I learn something new from each one,” says Dr. Bronsky. “Experience is a valuable tool in the orthodontic field.”
Orthodontists offer more options
With Invisalign, sometimes treatment begins and you find that the patient’s teeth aren’t responding the way they should or that they lack the discipline to wear them long enough to make them work. For times like these, it can be less of a headache to undergo treatment with an orthodontist who can seamlessly transition you into another form of orthodontic treatment. Patients of Invisalign dentists will need to seek an orthodontist and essentially, start over.
Even in cases where Invisalign is the best option, orthodontists frequently have more tools at their disposal to provide quality treatment. Many of our patients are pleased to learn that we use the iTero scanner for Invisalign. This eliminates the need for taking goopy, messy impressions of your teeth, and increases the accuracy of the aligners.
If you are interested in Invisalign or another form of invisible braces at our Park Avenue or Tribeca locations, call today for an initial consultation. We also provide second opinions for those who aren’t comfortable with a previous diagnosis.