Teeth straightening is now one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments carried out at The Kensington Clinic, London. Occasionally I will get asked, what is the difference between myself, and an Orthodontist, and the difference is an Orthodontist is a specialist in brace treatments.
To become a specialist, a dentist needs to carry out specific courses, after finishing as a dentist, and then he or she can specialise in the field of teeth straightening. In the UK Orthodontists mainly treat children on the NHS.
Now days, many dentists, including myself are carrying out brace treatments, as a cosmetic dental treatment, mainly on adults. Dentists can attend courses to learn about specific treatments, like Clearstep (the invisible brace) and 6 Month Smiles, a short term brace system, or they can attend orthodontic courses, run by specialists, to learn about correct treatment planning and diagnosis. This is optional, however I feel that a thorough knowledge is essential in whatever field of dental work someone operates, and I have ensured that I attend regular training in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, dental implant placement, and orthodontics (brace work).
So in short, a specialist is someone recognised as having carried out specialist training, where as I am a cosmetic dentist, who uses brace treatments successfully to improve the appearance of someones smile.
Most orthodontists will advise comprehensive treatments for adult patients, as this is what they are taught in specialist training. The drawback here is that many adult do not want to wear braces for 2 years (on average). As a cosmetic dentist, I use braces to align teeth, and quite often I will not affect the back teeth, and this reduces treatment time to about 6 months, and is a bit cheaper than seeing a specialist!
If someone would like to have comprehensive brace treatment, then this is possible… However, there may only be one person every 3 months who opts for this option!
If you are thinking of straightening your teeth, braces could be a great option, and you should find a dentist you trust, who can give you all the options, and they are experienced in the treatments they provide.