What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has spent at least a further three years specialising in the field of orthodontics after having completed the dental degree.
Only those who have successfully completed this formal education may call themselves "orthodontists."
Orthodontists limit their scope of work to orthodontics only.
Orthodontists are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orthodontic problems. They dedicate their professional lives to creating healthy, beautiful smiles in children, teens and adults. Well-aligned teeth are more than attractive: they make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively. Orthodontic care is often part of a comprehensive oral health plan.
Orthodontists use a variety of "appliances," including braces, clear aligner trays and retainers, to move teeth or hold them in their new positions. Because of orthodontists' advanced education and clinical experience, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to recommend the best kind of appliance to meet every individual patient's treatment goals.
A lovely smile is an important asset, so let the best qualified clinician help you to achieve that.
It can take 10 or more years of education after high school to graduate as an orthodontist. After dental school, the future orthodontist must be accepted as a student in an accredited orthodontic programme. This is where the orthodontic student learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (Orthodontics) and guide facial development (Dento Facial Orthopaedics). In South Africa only orthodontic specialists may be members of the South African Society of Orthodontists(SASO) and must also be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a specialist orthodontist.
Braces are far more attractive than crooked teeth.
Your family dentist may be able to offer you orthodontic treatment, but is not an orthodontic specialist having not undergone specialist training. Your general dentist may have taken some additional weekend training seminars but this does not provide the same qualifications to offer orthodontic treatment, nor can the title Orthodontist be used. Orthodontists also work in close relationship with dentists, and patients are urged to still attend their regular dental check-ups whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment.