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What is an Orthodontist?

What is an Orthodontist?
Posted on 08/06/2018

What is an Orthodontist? What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist? Why should I go to an orthodontist instead of my dentist to straighten teeth?

An orthodontist is a licensed dentist who, after graduating from dental school, returns to a university or medical center accredited by the American Dental Association, Dr. Engstrom attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for comprehensive training in the correction of every type of malocclusion (bad smiles and bites). Getting into an orthodontic specialty program is very competitive. Students who are accepted into post-graduate residencies have usually graduated at the top of their dental school class. Orthodontic residents devote 4,000 to 6,000 additional hours of intense, supervised training after dental school. In Dr. Engstrom’s orthodontic residency he spent his time learning to diagnose and treat everything from a little space that can be fixed with a simple retainer to the most difficult underbite that requires years of treatment in addition to jaw surgery.

When a dental student passes his boards, he becomes legally licensed to provide all dental procedures. Dentists are much like your primary care physician. They are seen periodically throughout the year and will generally diagnose and treat common dental problems. Cleaning teeth, filling cavities, making crowns, bridges, and dentures, are some of the procedures that are especially associated with general dentistry. Also, much like your primary care physician, dentists will refer you to specialists that have received additional training to address specific issues; an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth extractions, a periodontist for in depth gum issues, an endodontist for root canals, and finally, an orthodontist for straightening teeth.

Even though your primary care physician can legally perform surgery on your heart, give you a nose job, or treat you for psychiatric problems, wouldn’t you seek the skills of a specialist if you needed these services? Your smile and bite are just as important. Before you let anyone straighten your teeth, ask them specifically if they are a specialist (an orthodontist) and how many years of additional training they had to become licensed as a specialist. You only have one smile. Shouldn’t you put it into the hands of a qualified orthodontist?

Call Engstrom Orthodontics today at 919-870-4443 to set up your free orthodontic consultation in our North Raleigh or Fuquay Varina office. We are conveniently located on Falls of the Neuse Rd. across from Ravenscroft in Raleigh and next to Town Hall in Fuquay.

Engstrom & Hamilton Orthodontics

  • Raleigh Office - 7200 Falls of Neuse Rd., Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27615 Phone: 919.870.4443 Fax: 919.870.9434
  • Fuquay Varina Office - 421 Old Honeycutt Rd., Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 Phone: 919.870.4443 Fax: 919.552.9931

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