Choosing an Orthodontist vs Dentist for Orthodontics

You've got metal.

You want your smile to be healthy, beautiful, and to function properly. And you probably already know that orthodontics, such as braces, can help you achieve this goal. But should you opt for your braces or other oral appliances from an orthodontist or a dentist?


While both dental experts can help correct your alignment issues, our team at Duval Orthodontics is here to explain why it’s best to choose an orthodontist vs. a dentist for orthodontic treatment.

A dentist is not an orthodontist

General dentists focus on your overall oral health. They perform dental cleanings, exams, and treat conditions like tooth decay. An expert orthodontist like Dr. J.A. Duval, on the other hand, is a dental specialist who goes through specialty orthodontic training for several years after dental school.


While in some states certain dentists can administer certain types of orthodontics, like braces, this doesn’t make them a trained orthodontist.

An orthodontist goes through specialty training

Before a dentist can become an orthodontist, they must first complete four years of dental school and then spend the next two or three years studying orthodontics. This specialty training makes an orthodontist an expert at treating alignment issues with corrective oral appliances.

Orthodontists have expert knowledge

You wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your car; you’d hire an expert mechanic. This school of thought also applies to orthodontic treatment.


A dentist is skilled and well-informed on many oral health issues, however, an orthodontist specifically deals with oral appliances and the alignment problems they correct.


If you have crooked or crowded teeth, you know that devices like Invisalign® can straighten them. But is Invisalign the best choice for you? Maybe you would have more success with traditional braces. These are questions only a skilled orthodontist like Dr. Duval can answer.


If you have a problem with your bite or have crooked teeth, a dentist may recommend that you use Invisalign tray aligners because that is the only treatment they are certified to provide. While these aligners can straighten your teeth, they’re not going to do anything for your bite. In this situation, braces are the better choice because they can fix both issues.

Improve your smile with orthodontics

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, choose an orthodontist like Dr. Duval. With his extensive training and experience, he can recommend the best device for correcting the shape, function, and health of your smile.

To get started, schedule your consultation at Duval Orthodontics, with offices located in Albany and Warner Robins, Georgia, by phone or visit our website and use our online booking tool.

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