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Orthodontists vs. Dentists

When it comes to orthodontic treatments like braces and Invisalign, people always ask— what’s the difference between getting treatment from a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

The difference comes down to “3 E’s”, Education, Experience, and Expertise. Here are facts: all Orthodontists are Dentists, but only 6% of Dentists are Orthodontists. Orthodontics programs involve a rigorous 2-3 years beyond dental school where Dentists master the science and art of orthodontics, and only orthodontics. Not only is Orthodontic Residency stringent, but for every open slot in an orthodontic school, there are 15 dentists competing for that opening.

Orthodontists diagnose, prevent, intercept, and treat dental and facial irregularities. These problems may include teeth that are crowded or too far apart, teeth that meet abnormally or don’t meet at all, teeth that stick out, and mismatched jaws. Orthodontists treat existing problems, identify problems that are developing, and take timely action to resolve them before they fully develop into bigger issues down the road. In some cases, when not caught early–this means surgery.

A good example we like to use is this: You wouldn’t go to your Primary Care Physician for open heart surgery. You’d want to leave your heart in the care of an experienced and properly credentialed Cardiac Surgeon.

After completing orthodontic school, there are Orthodontists who are so extra that they go through a grueling process to be Certified with the American Board of Orthodontists. On Oahu, there are only 8 orthodontists that are tenacious enough to go through this additional certification process. Spoiler Alert: Hi Smile’s very own Dr. Malia Kamisugi is one of those American Board Certified Orthodontists here on Oahu!

Are you interested about what an American Board Certified Orthodontist can do to help you look and feel your best? Call us to today to schedule a complimentary, friendly, and informative consultation at our Honolulu or Kailua office!

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