Although most people understand what dentists do, there is some confusion about orthodontic work. What orthodontists want is for everyone to have a beautiful, healthy smile and not hesitate to get the treatment they need. Here we have debunked some common misconceptions about orthodontic care.
- Anyone Who Provides Braces or Aligners Is an Orthodontist
Not true. These days, it is not uncommon for general dentists to offer conventional braces or clear aligners. Orthodontic treatments are also sold online. However, only an orthodontist has received the required extra training to be called a specialist or an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) member.
Put your oral health only in the hands of the right trained professional. It is not worth risking irreparable damage to your teeth and face by allowing anyone, but an AAO-affiliated orthodontist adjusts your smile.
- Orthodontists Are So Expensive
Orthodontists who are AAO members are unique oral care specialists who provide carefully customized treatment plans. The resulting fees directly reflect the complexity of each case. Some cases are completed in mere months, while others require several years of treatment. Either way, it is well worth it to have the benefits of expert care, with a certified orthodontist. Most AAO members offer free consultations and provide flexible payment plans to patients who need the assistance.
- Office Visits Are Not Necessary to Get Straight Teeth
If you are never seen by an orthodontist, the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw can’t be monitored during the treatment course. Regular visits allow your orthodontist to keep track of progress, make any necessary corrections, and watch for problems.
- Orthodontic Treatment Takes Several Years
Effective orthodontic treatment works with controlled shifts in the position of teeth. An AAO orthodontist knows how to make careful tooth movements that deliver the desired results in both simple and complex cases. Someone who offers orthodontic treatments as a side business without the proper training could put you at risk for irreversible damage.
- Orthodontic Treatment Is Purely Cosmetic
Orthodontic treatment not only straightens teeth and enhances your smile, it also improves mouth function. An attractive smile is a sign of good dental health which sets the stage for whole body health and well-being. There is more to orthodontics than meets the eye.
- Orthodontists Only Offer Metal Braces
Orthodontists in training invest many years in learning about how teeth move. These specialized dental care providers earn their expert qualification. Therefore, an AAO orthodontist can provide the best possible care with all the available tools and appliances designed to correct misaligned teeth.
- Orthodontic Treatment Is Just for Kids
Absolutely not. Anyone can benefit from orthodontic care, patients of all ages what a healthy smile. Almost 1.5 million adults received treatment in 2014 by an AAO orthodontist. Since adults have more complex cases, it is crucial they get treated by an AAO orthodontist.
Only orthodontists are admitted to the AAO, membership is very exclusive. The only medical professionals who can legitimately call themselves orthodontists have completed the necessary requirements: graduated dental school, plus 2–3 years orthodontic residency.
When you opt for orthodontic treatment with an AAO member you can rest assured you will receive the expert skills, training, and experience needed to achieve your best smile.