What is an Orthodontist?
Many people think that there is not much difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. However, not only do they provide different services, but they also have different qualifications and varying amounts of experience.
Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that focuses on the development of the face, teeth and jaws to reach the best possible function and aesthetics. This is usually achieved through the use of various teeth alignment systems such as traditional metal braces, Invisible braces, lingual braces or more recently Invisalign.
An orthodontist is a qualified specialist who has first trained to become a dentist, and then undertaken a further 3 years of study on a postgraduate course at Masters or Doctorate level. Orthodontic training posts are highly sought after and before a dentist can begin their orthodontic training they need to gain significant work experience in maxillofacial surgery, restorative dentistry and paediatric dentistry, so they have a comprehensive base knowledge of the teeth, mouth and gums.
At the end of their studies trainee orthodontists sit the Membership in Orthodontics examination of the Royal College of Surgeons. This qualification, along with a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training allows them to register as a Specialist Orthodontist with the General Dental Council. You can find Dr Jeeves Kochhar listed on the Specialist Register by clicking here.
Can my dentist provide Orthodontic treatment?
Yes, general dentists can provide orthodontic treatment and some do to a very high standard. However, in most cases they are unlikely to have the same level of experience or training as a Specialist Orthodontist. Once qualified, an Orthodontist will usually only provide orthodontic treatment, so they quickly develop their skills and treat a wide range of cases, from the mild to the highly complex.