Ward Orthodontics will be starting a quarterly blog to help provide both information and answer any questions you may have. You may submit questions directly to Dr. Ward at [email protected] or simply email your thoughts to the office at [email protected].
For our first blog, I would like to address a question that seems to becoming more and more relevant. I am frequently asked, whether in the office or in a social setting, "my dentist told me my daughter (son) needs braces and he can take care of the problem just like an orthodontist". First and foremost, THIS is categorically untrue! OK, I got that out of the way so let's talk about what an Orthodontist is and is not.
An Orthodontist is first a dentist. He or she attended dental school for four years and once graduated, applied to an Orthodontic Residency. The majority of orthodontic programs will only accept an applicant who graduated in the top 5% of their dental school class.
Most orthodontic programs last 30 to 36 months and require the resident to complete a Masters Thesis. This specialization requires the resident to not only master basic sciences like anatomy, microbiology and the physics of tooth movement but he must become the authority on facial growth. The Orthodontist has the responsibility of working with a growing child and a complete understanding of how a face grows is imperative to successful treatment.
Since the dentition comprises a large percentage of our face, a thorough and qualified orthodontist must also possess a knowledge of the study of art as it applies to the human face. Facial esthetics and the relationship of the teeth to our face is a priority. We, at Ward Orthodontics, are one of a select few offices in the United States that practice a Faces F1rst philosophy regarding diagnosis and treatment.
Following graduation from an orthodontic residency, the orthodontist begins a lifelong journey of continual learning. Orthodontists that achieve American Board certification have gone the extra step to provide an enhanced level of care for their patients. In addition to Board Certification, two of the oldest organizations within the specialty, The Charles H. Tweed International Foundation and The Angle Society, offer the orthodontist a continuous path for excellence.
So, can a general dentist provide the same service as an Orthodontist? You be the judge. One word of caution though, it is much easier to treat a person right the first time than try and fix it later. In future blogs, I will be discussing such topics as early orthodontic treatment, why extractions are sometimes needed, patient cooperation and any other topics you desire. I will always include peer reviewed research articles to support the opinions rendered. I hope you find this information helpful.
Please check out our website for more information about Dr. Ward and his philosophy about orthodontic treatment.
Copyright ©2014 Dr. Dennis D. Ward, DDS, MSD