Have you been thinking about orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child? If so, you may be wondering if an orthodontist is a requirement, or if this is something your regular dentist can handle. Many people believe them to be interchangeable, and although there are many similarities between the two, there are also some significant differences that set them apart.

If you’re looking into treatment like braces or clear aligners, it’s important to understand what those differences are because you don’t want to trust something as important as your smile to just anyone! Here at Zeifman Orthodontics, we’re proud to provide expert orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Florham Park and the surrounding areas. Dr. Zeifman is a highly trained and experienced orthodontist, and understanding what she has to offer that other dentists don’t will allow you to make an informed decision about which option is best for you or your child.

Let’s take a closer look at orthodontists and dentists to learn more!

Differences in education and training

While orthodontists and dentists both begin their careers in dental school, orthodontists take a different path after graduation. This path includes several extra years of specialized training in aligning the teeth and jaws. Orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, and only the top students in any dental school graduating class are accepted. These programs typically last 2-3 years, and the full-time training focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and other appliances.

A dentist must successfully complete this residency program before they can be considered an orthodontist. Put simply, orthodontists are dentists who also have years of additional specialized training and experience in orthodontics. Although there are always exceptions to every rule, most general dentists don’t possess this level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience.

Can some dentists can straighten teeth? Yes, but….

All dentists will receive some extremely basic orthodontic training in school, and there are indeed some general dentists who are able to provide quality orthodontic care to their patients. This is generally due to that dentist taking continuing education seminars and acquiring extra orthodontic experience through workshops. This is an imperfect system, however. Unlike universities and dedicated orthodontic programs, workshops and seminars have no way to go over such extensive and specific material in any real depth.

If you have a primary care dentist who offers orthodontic care, you may be considering them as an option. But before you choose to move forward with orthodontic treatment by your dentist, consider that an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Zeifman will be able to:

  • provide you with a wider variety of treatment options, from traditional metal braces to clear aligner systems like Invisalign
  • create a customized treatment plan for you based on your unique smile, specific needs, and desired results
  • Offer you more efficient treatments and visits, since orthodontics is their main focus
  • deliver the best possible outcome for your smile, particularly if you have a case that is more complicated or severe

At Zeifman Orthodontics, orthodontic care and treatment is our only focus and specialty, so we put a lot of time, energy, and work into perfecting our techniques. We perform teeth straightening procedures daily, make an effort to keep up to date on the latest in industry practice, and regularly attend continuing education courses. We also ensure our office is equipped with the most current orthodontic equipment. As you can see, we’re committed to providing you with nothing but the best in individualized orthodontic care!

Dr. Zeifman with a patient

Specialized treatment achieves the straightest smiles

As the patient, your choice of care provider is a decision only you can make. But when it comes to your oral health and the way your mouth functions, wouldn’t you prefer to have a doctor with the most specialized education, training, and experience? Having a general dentist perform specialized orthodontic work is a little bit like letting a general physician performing open heart surgery. Can it be done? It can! Is it a good idea? Maybe not! As the common saying goes, just because something can be done, it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done.

You can expect more than just a straighter, healthier smile from an experienced orthodontist. Their training emphasizes optimal treatment approaches that can help avoid any unnecessary complications. An orthodontist is more likely to notice the small things that a general dentist may overlook, and will only recommend the appropriate treatment plan for you. This means treatment times are reduced, there’s less chance of complications developing, and the treatment plan itself will be both time and cost effective.

Choose Zeifman Orthodontics for the highest quality orthodontic care

If you’re looking for an optimal orthodontic experience, look no further. Our high-quality care plans are customized to see you through your treatment from start to finish! Since our sole specialty is orthodontics, we have the experience and expertise necessary to give you nothing but the best quality, cost, and efficiency in orthodontic treatment.

Are you ready to see this level of excellence in action? We’d love to meet you and share more information on how orthodontic treatment could benefit your smile and change your life! When you schedule a FREE consultation with our office, you’ll receive a thorough examination by Dr. Zeifman.

Following this exam, she’ll be able to address any orthodontic issues you’re experiencing and outline a personalized treatment plan just for you, but don’t worry – this is a no-pressure appointment! Even if you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, our expert team is always here to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have in order to make an informed decision.

If you’re ready to take the very first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch with us today to schedule your complimentary consultation!