Is There Any Difference Between a Fully Qualified Orthodontist and a Dentist Who Does Orthodontic Treatments?

scary orthodontistWell to answer this question let’s start by looking at the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

1. An orthodontist such as Dr. Kesa is a professional who has gone through dental school as well as going through three years of additional education and training
2. Orthodontists spend on average 6,000 hours of real life training, treating pretty much every type of smile and bite issue there is.
3. Dentists only go through one small course in orthodontics in dental school and don’t actually go through any practical experience as it is not required to graduate.
4. Those small 2 day training courses for dentists don’t actually give them the experience they need to give people orthodontic treatment.

These days it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a fully qualified orthodontist and a dentist who happens to offer orthodontic treatment. I have a ton of patients come to me, telling me that their previous orthodontist was just their dentist who offered to do orthodontic treatment on them!

A lot of people trust their dentists and when they offer to straighten out their teeth for them, they just assume that they are also orthodontists.

So what is an orthodontist and what makes him different to a dentist who offers orthodontic treatment? Does it matter from whom you get orthodontic treatment?

An orthodontist like Daniel Bekish is basically a fully licensed dentist who went through and graduated from dental school and then went on to study orthodontics for a further three years to get the knowledge and experience required to correct every type of crooked smile and bad bite you can imagine!

Getting into a fully accredited university who offers an orthodontic program is extremely competitive. The vast majority of the students that get accepted into orthodontic programs are students who were top of their class at dental school.

Those that get into an orthodontic program spend on average 10 hours a day, 5 days a week for three years learning and practicing over and over again, things like how to diagnose, and treat every type of issue there may be using the best methods that are currently available.

In total this results in the individual going through about 6,000 hours of hard core intense training after dental school.

Personally when I was doing my own orthodontic residency I had to start and finish orthodontic treatment on over 100 patients who had all sorts of different problems…. thereby gaining valuable experience on how to treat every kind of problem.

Because I was part of a massive orthodontic residency program, I was literally getting to treat people with a huge variety of issues. The great thing about quality orthodontic programs is that you as a student will be mentored by professors who themselves have had years and years of experience.

Not only did I have to go through practical training for up to 8 hours a day, but on top of that I studied topics such as genetics, growth and development, stats, biomechanics and various other things to ensure that I was getting all the information that I would need to become a successful orthodontist.

To end the program off, I had to do a fully fledged research project to really help further the field of orthodontics.

Having gone to one of the best dental schools in the country before starting my orthodontic program, I know exactly how much training and education general dentists receive on the subject of orthodontics.

I have to tell you right now that dental school was really hard to get through. I had to take classes on topics such as anatomy, histology, physiology, microbiology and a whole lot more.

After that I had to take courses specific to the area of dentistry including things like diagnosis, creating a treatment plan, how to control infections and dental anaesthesia.

Everything that I learned in dental school gave me the training that was required to do things like clean people’s teeth, fill cavities, make dental crowns and bridges, install dentures, and perform root canal treatments.

It is only in the final year of dental school that students are briefly introduced to the various different specialities that are out there, including topics like periodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, prosthodontics, oral surgery, and orthodontics. Keep in mind that it was just a brief introduction to each speciality.

If you went to one of the top dental schools then you might get a little hands on training, but nothing special. I personally made a retainer as part of my orthodontics training in dental school.

Believe me, even though I graduated at the top of my class at dental school I had no knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating orthodontic patients.

Once a dental student passes his board exams they have the licence to provide all sorts of dental treatments no matter what training or experience they may or may not have.

Graduating dental school gave me the confidence to be able to perform really simple procedures like cleaning teeth, filling cavities, creating crowns and bridges and performing simple root canals and tooth extractions.

Once a dentist has graduated they do have the option of taking small courses to further their education and expand on the list of services that they actually provide at their practice.

Some of these courses you will find being offered by various universities across the country but the vast majority of them are offered by for profit organizations who set them up at a 2 or 3 day weekend course at a local hotel.

Of course unlike a fully accredited university the only requirement to get into these courses is that you pay the enrolment fee.

If you were to do a speciality course at a university then you will have to go through thousands of hours of hands on training before you would be qualified to actually treat live patients, whereas with these weekend courses you’ll get no practical training at all!

So taking this into consideration do you think that a dentist who has taken a weekend course will be able to provide you with the same orthodontic treatment as an individual who has gone through three years of training at an accredited institution?

If your general doctor could legally give you heart surgery, would you trust him to do so or would you prefer to see a specialist heart surgeon? My guess is that you’d definitely want to see the specialist!

Well the reality is that your teeth, smile and bite are really no different. You really want to make sure that before you get any treatment that the individual who is about to do the work is a fully qualified and experienced orthodontist. Ask this question before any treatment begins and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache!

You only get one set of teeth, make sure that you get that beautiful smile by someone who knows what they’re doing!

Here’s a cool 1 minute video giving you the precise reason why you should see an orthodontist over a dentist for your orthodontic treatment…

Simple and Easy Tips To Help People With Braces Brush Their Teeth

Brushing Teeth with bracesThe truth of the matter is that it can be really challenging at times to brush your teeth properly when you have braces on your teeth. The whole aim of this article is to help you keep your teeth as clean as possible so that you’ll have a beautiful, white smile the day your braces come off.

The first tip is to always make sure that you are using a soft toothbrush. It is going to be essential that you use this brush to keep the area around the brackets clean at all times, especially near the gumline.

Using a brush with tough bristles is only going to result in you damaging your gums over the long term, which is exactly what you don’t want!

The second tip would be to firstly begin brushing your teeth with just a wet toothbrush and no toothpaste. Toothpaste is great and contains a lot of beneficial ingredients that are good for your teeth, but all the foam makes it really hard to see what you are actually doing.

After you have cleaned your teeth and gums thoroughly with a wet toothbrush then use a little bit of toothpaste to go over your teeth with some fluoride and all the other stuff that is good for your teeth.

The third tip would be to remove the bits of food that are stuck in your braces using a picking action rather than a brushing action.

Your toothbrush literally has thousands of bristles on the end of it which work just like a toothpick to help get into every little area of your mouth and in this case every area around your braces.

Yes brushing your teeth over your braces will help to remove some of the plaque that is there, but it won’t get to any of the plaque or food that is stuck underneath the brackets.

The fourth tip is to make sure that you actually time yourself and ensure that you are brushing your teeth for at least two whole minutes.

Yes, you might feel that this is something that you already do, but the reality is that when people actually time themselves they usually discover that they only brush their teeth for a maximum of 30 seconds!

The fifth tip would be to use toothpaste that tastes great and actually makes you want to keep brushing your teeth for a full two minutes.

Yes, every brand of toothpaste will have different ingredients in them, but that doesn’t matter because research shows that the ingredients are not important… it is how much time you spend brushing your teeth that will determine how good your overall oral health is.

If you love the toothpaste that gives you that minty fresh feeling after you finish, then that is the one that you should get because it will make you want to brush your teeth for a whole two minutes.

The most important ingredient in a toothpaste is fluoride, which most toothpastes have these days.

The sixth tip would be to avoid rinsing your mouth after you brush your teeth at night. Spit but avoid rinsing. There is some research to suggest that doing this will give you a massive dose of fluoride, the same amount you would be getting if you were taking an expensive fluoride supplement.

So avoid the expensive fluoride supplement and start leaving a little toothpaste foam on your teeth before you retire for the night.

The final tip would be to invest in a quality electric toothbrush. Yes you can do fine with a manual toothbrush, but the reality is that you will be able to get great results with less effort using an electric toothbrush.

There is some research out there that suggests that those electric brushes that vibrate actually do a better job cleaning your teeth than those that just rotate. So go ahead save some time and effort by using an electric toothbrush.

For those of you that want a visual guide… here you go:

do it yourself orthodontics

Is Do it Yourself Orthodontic Treatment Any Good?

do it yourself orthodonticsYou might have recently heard of a new company who offers to give you invisible aligners in the comfort of your home at less than 50% of the cost of treatments such as Invisalign.

To sum it up, the process involves you taking impressions of your teeth and taking pictures of yourself and then mailing both of these to the company. The company will then send you a set of aligners that you will have to wear, one after the other until you get a set of perfectly aligned teeth…. about a year down the line.

So is it really possible to do it as easily as this company claims. Will you actually get results with it? Well, here are our thoughts on this new do it yourself orthodontic industry…

Naturally being a fully qualified orthodontist who has had years and years of experience, dealing with thousands of different patients I see the great value that comes out of being able to see my patients in person. These thoughts and opinions on the industry of do it yourself orthodontics are just my opinions and not based on my experience of actually using these products.

I’ve personally offered clear aligners such as Invisalign to help straighten people’s teeth since the first day that I became a fully fledged orthodontist. Back when I still in dental school, I took impressions of my own teeth to create an invisible aligner which I then went on to straighten a crooked back tooth.

I simply wore the aligner all day, everyday (only removing it to eat and brush my teeth) and a month later my tooth was in it’s perfect place. Back when Invisalign first came to the market in 1999, I was one of the first orthodontists in the USA to be trained to use them, and have been successfully treating patients with them since then!

I have used many different invisible aligner treatments over the years and I can tell you right now that there is no doubt that invisible aligners are great at helping people get that perfect smile.

The first concern I have when it comes to do it yourself orthodontic treatment is the fact that you as a human being are a complicated organism and this needs to be taken into account when you are being looked over and a treatment plan is being made for you.

Every individual is different and this is something that you have to keep in mind when they walk through your door for the first time. You need to understand their specific problems and the thoughts and ideas they have in their mind about how the treatment process should look. Then you need to offer them treatment that is going to actually give them the results that they desire.

You need to understand the patient and see whether they are even mature enough to be able to go through invisible aligner treatment successfully. As an orthodontist I also look at the whole entire mouth and neck area and take the health of these two into consideration when I’m coming up with a treatment plan.

Issues like tooth decay and gum disease all need to be taken into consideration when you are deciding which treatment is going to be the most successful.

We as orthodontists also examine the mouth for signs of bigger problems like oral cancer, and swollen glands. The only way to find these issues is to take a full x-ray of the mouth prior to treatment actually taking place because it is next to impossible to detect them without one.

To be honest I don’t think that taking a few pictures of the face and some impressions of the mouth are enough to accurately make the correct diagnosis and therefore an accurate treatment plan.

You also need to know that orthodontic appliances such as aligners are only as effective as the orthodontist that is actually designing and making them for you.

Yes, your orthodontist may show you a beautiful digital simulation of how the process of getting straight teeth will look for you, but you need to realize and appreciate that this simulation only shows you the perfect scenario and doesn’t show you the reality of life. Various different factors and obstacles and issues may and will come up through your treatment and only an orthodontist who knows what he/she is doing will be able to solve the situation and move you forward to getting the best result possible.

Yes, companies like Invisalign have worked incredibly hard to create precise mathematical formulas over the years, but the reality is that not matter how good these formulas are they can and will never take into account the constantly changing human body.

This is why it is so important to have an orthodontist there who will be able to step in when the aligners are not doing their job. This way if things are not going as they are meant to then they can make the necessary adjustments.

Of course even in the most simple and straightforward cases, there will be times when the patient needs to go in and see their orthodontist.

There may be times when the invisible aligners are rubbing up against the gums or they just don’t fit correctly. And when these issues spring up you need to have a qualified and experienced orthodontist who can course correct and solve these issues quickly and efficiently.

There are times when the aligners won’t actually move the teeth as they should. If there isn’t an orthodontist to notice this then how is the patient supposed to know what to do or even know if this is happening in the first place?

When I see my patients who are going through Invisalign treatment, I always check and make sure that their teeth are moving as they should be moving and if they’re not then make the correct adjustments to get back on track.

Honestly I find it hard to believe that all of this will be possible with a 100% do it yourself system.

Yes, we live in a wonderful time in that everything is getting faster and cheaper. You want something and you’re literally one click away from getting it shipped to your door overnight through places like Amazon.

But you need to appreciate that orthodontic treatment is a very complex process and not as simple as ordering something to get shipped to you overnight!

Personally with something as delicate as my teeth (after all you only get one set of teeth) I’d want a fully qualified orthodontist who has years of experience, dealing with me and guiding me every step of the way.

There is absolutely nothing that can replace a quality orthodontist who will examine your mouth personally, look at your overall oral health, give you a diagnosis and then create a solid individual treatment plan and make any adjustments and course corrections along the way should any hiccups present themselves.

In terms of a do it yourself system claiming to give you the same results… I personally feel it is highly unlikely this is possible or ever will be possible.