Achieving a gorgeous smile is a team effort. Sometimes people are under the misconception that once they get braces or Invisalign they can stop seeing their general dentist for a while. This isn’t true. You’ll need to visit your dentist and your orthodontist while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. At my Vancouver and Coquitlam orthodontic clinics, I partner with my patients’ dentists for the most well-rounded, comprehensive care. This brings about the best results in the least amount of time.
The Difference Between An Orthodontist and a Dentist
Yes, orthodontists and dentists both deal with teeth, which is where I think that idea that you just need to see one or the other at a given time comes from. Yet, our jobs are very different. Orthodontists and general dentists completed dental school, however, an orthodontist underwent two or three years of additional full-time specialty training to become an expert in preventing, diagnosing and treating malocclusion, or an improper bite. During their time at an orthodontic residency program, they attended classes, got tons of clinical experience and then passed their qualifying exams.
An orthodontist gets to the bottom of your misalignment and determines if it’s due to the teeth or the jaws and has the expertise to fix it with braces, Invisalign or another corrective appliance resulting in straight teeth and a healthy bite. Your dentist, on the other hand, isn’t a tooth straightener. They help prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and issues associated with the teeth and gums, like gum disease and cavities. They also perform non-surgical and surgical procedures on the teeth, bone and soft tissues in the mouth and promote oral health.
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Maintaining Oral Hygiene
When you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene is extremely important and especially with metal braces and clear braces it can be a little bit trickier. You want to prevent stains and cavities and keep your gums in good health so when your treatment is over, your teeth aren’t just straight; your overall smile is stunning. Visiting your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams is imperative. They’ll help to keep your teeth clean and make sure you’re cavity-free and your mouth is in tip-top shape. Letting your oral hygiene go and developing dental issues can really slow your orthodontic treatment down. Caring for your teeth with the help of your dentist will allow you stay on schedule.
Pre- and Post-Braces Help
If you need some dental prep prior to braces or Invisalign, you’ll be seeing your dentist. Before you can start orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to be up-to-date on your dental care. This could potentially mean having cavities filled, getting a root canal, having teeth extracted if necessary and treating gum disease. In other cases, braces or Invisalign alone many not be enough to give you a perfect smile and your dentist may need to provide some finishing touches like bonding or veneers.
At Evergreen Orthodontics we have great relationships with our patients’ dentists. In fact, many of them are the ones who referred the patients to us in the first place. We think the most efficient and effective care comes from a joint effort between your orthodontist and dentist so all aspects of your oral health are considered and monitored. Book a free consultation at Evergreen Orthodontics in Coquitlam or Vancouver today and let’s talk about how we can straighten your teeth and work with your dentist for a truly healthy smile.