All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
You can't get a healthy, beautiful smile from just anyone. You need an expert. You need an orthodontist.
Orthodontists are highly trained specialists whose expertise is tooth alignment for children, teens and adults. But what exactly makes them the experts? Only orthodontists receive an extra 2-3 years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.
That means to become an orthodontist, qualified dentists need even more training after graduating dental school. In fact, they need an additional full-time education at an accredited orthodontic residency program supervised by orthodontists. This education lasts at least two years, often more.
During this time, orthodontists learn about tooth movement (orthodontics) and the guidance of facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). It's this education and training in straightening teeth and aligning jaws that make orthodontists the straight-smile experts.
By selecting a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), you can feel confident knowing you've chosen an orthodontic specialist that is an expert in orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedics and the treatment of improperly aligned teeth and jaws. It's why only orthodontists can become members of the AAO. It's also why our expertise will make you smile.
© American Association of Orthodontists and Braces.org, 01/17/2012