When considering orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign, you may be wondering whether to see a dentist or an orthodontist. Both providers are qualified to provide Invisalign treatment, but there are some key differences between the two.
We’ll discuss the various factors you should consider when choosing an Invisalign provider, including the qualifications and specializations of dentists and orthodontists.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner system that is used to straighten teeth. In fact, they’re the original “invisible braces,” and most clear aligner brands are modeled after Invisalign’s innovative treatment approach.
Most notably, Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces that uses a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth into the desired position. The aligners are virtually invisible and can be easily removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. Treatment with Invisalign typically takes between 6 to 18 months, depending on the severity of the case and the desired outcome. Invisalign is a popular option for both adults and teenagers of all ages as it is comfortable to wear, easy to clean and maintain, and does not have the aesthetic drawbacks of traditional metal braces.
NOTE: here at Canal Vista Family Dental, we use ClearCorrect, the #1 clear braces alternative to Invisalign and a more affordable option for our patients.
Should I Get Invisalign From a Dentist or Orthodontist?
Both dentists and orthodontists are qualified to provide Invisalign treatment, but there are some key differences between the two. Dentists are general practitioners who have completed dental school and are licensed to provide a wide range of dental services, including orthodontics. Orthodontists, on the other hand, are specialists who have completed additional training in orthodontics and have a specific focus on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malocclusions (bad “bites”).
When choosing an Invisalign provider, it is important to consider the level of experience and expertise of the practitioner. Especially if you have major bite issues. Orthodontists have completed additional training and have a greater level of expertise in orthodontic treatment. However, many dentists also have experience with Invisalign and can provide high-quality treatment regardless of your situation.
Do All Dentists Do Invisalign?
Not all dentists provide clear braces treatment. Some dentists choose to focus on other areas of dentistry and may not have the necessary training or experience to provide Invisalign or other clear braces (such as ClearCorrect). However, many dentists do provide clear aligner treatment and have completed the necessary training to do so, including our dentist Dr. Bestandji.
Becoming an Invisalign-certified provider is an extra layer of training that your general or cosmetic dentist can complete. This course allows dentists to expand their knowledge of orthodontic therapy for malocclusions so that they can predictably treat patients in their private practice. As a result, those dentists do not need to refer their Invisalign patients to a separate orthodontist’s office near you.
What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?
The main difference between a dentist and an orthodontist is their level of education and training in a specific area of care. Dentists are general practitioners who have completed dental school and are licensed to provide a wide range of dental services, including orthodontics. Orthodontists, on the other hand, are specialists who have completed additional training in orthodontics and have a specific focus on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw and bite misalignment.
Orthodontists have completed a minimum of 2-3 years of additional training beyond four years of dental school in an accredited orthodontic residency program. They are also required to pass a written and clinical board examination to become a certified orthodontist. They are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic problems, including the use of braces and aligners, not to mention growth modification and interceptive orthodontics.
Once they complete orthodontic school, these specialists do not perform any type of service outside of braces and orthodontic procedures.
Orthodontist vs. Pediatric Dentist
Orthodontists and pediatric dentists both specialize in treating children’s teeth and jaws, but they have different areas of focus. Pediatric dentists are specialists in dental care for children and adolescents. They have completed additional training and are licensed to provide a wide range of dental services for children, including orthodontics.
Orthodontists, on the other hand, have a specific focus on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malocclusions (bad bites) in children and adults. They are experts in the use of braces and Invisalign to correct more pronounced or concerning bite and alignment issues in addition to minor tooth alignment.
However, parents can still take their children to see pediatric dentists for early types of growth modification, such as interceptive orthodontics. Examples could include things like space maintainers or Herbst appliances.
Cost of Invisalign Treatment
The cost of Invisalign treatment can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the case, the length of treatment, and the location of the practice. On average, the cost of Invisalign treatment ranges from $3,000 to $8,000, although it can be higher or lower depending on the individual case.
Overall, Invisalign tends to cost about the same amount as traditional braces. The fewer aligners there are, the shorter and more affordable the process will be. (See our ClearCorrect Orthodontics page for more on how ClearCorrect, our preferred clear aligner treatment, stacks up cost-wise.)
Invisalign pricing is typically the same whether you see a cosmetic dentist or an orthodontist, as each provider pays for the same lab fees and materials. One is not necessarily more expensive than the other. That’s why so many people choose to have their treatment completed with a dentist they already know and have a relationship with.
Some dental insurance plans do cover a portion of the cost of Invisalign. It is always best to check with your insurance company before starting treatment. Some dental practices also offer financing options to make the cost of treatment more manageable. It is important to note that cost should not be the only factor considered when choosing an Invisalign provider, as the expertise and experience of the practitioner are also important factors in achieving the desired outcome.
Clear Braces Consultations in Princeton, NJ
At Canal Vista Family Dental in Princeton, NJ, we are proud to offer clear aligner consultations with Dr. Bestandji, our certified Invisalign dentist. Dr. Bestandji has an extensive amount of training and experience, allowing us to provide clear braces treatment for teens and adults of all ages at our Princeton practice.