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Choosing an Orthodontist or Orthodontics DentistOrthodontics is typically associated with dental needs of young patient populations. Congenital factors, developmental events, trauma and unusual oral health issues can influence the final cosmetic, alignment and functional outcomes of what we consider to be adult teeth.
While General Dentists learn a good bit of orthodontic diagnostics and treatment, those who focus primarily on orthodontics usually participate in additional Post Graduate training and obtain a specialty license (e.g., M.S) and degree.
Orthodontic Specialist or General Dentist?Nonetheless, there are some general dentists that incorporate a good deal of orthodontic treatments within their practice. It is not uncommon to find such dentists as representing an unusual resource for consumers. Assuming a general dentist may provide cosmetic treatments, their "esthetic eye" influences the way and methods they use in providing basic orthodontics.
Two ExamplesIt is probably well known by most Orthodontists that the most fickle patient group, when it comes to wearing braces, is the Adult population. Yes... they want attractive teeth that look good, feel good and function the way they are supposed to. But few of them want to wear the traditional teeth straightening, jaw expanding hardware.
The popularity of Invisalign evidences this level of dislike for metal braces.
There remains however, a very large group of adults who have unusually complex ortho needs... due usually to not having access to ortho treatments as a youngster.... or because of growth or trauma issues that occured later in life.
Adult patients with complex ortho needs may not benefit from Invisalign technologies as much as a person with mild issues. Luckily, there are practicing general dentists who have developed treatment methods to deliver what some adult patients are demanding.... convenient tooth straightening that doesn't require a lot of time.
In Michigan, a reconstructive implant dentist developed a rapid method of traditional orthodontic treatment. His website contains material that discusses and demonstrates the functional and cosmetic goals of adult ortho patients. Understandably, his practice attracts patients who are out of state.
In Florida, another general dentist, known for his Da vinci Celebrity Makeovers, eventually developed unusual combinations of premium porcelain products and tooth replacement procedures that enables some adult patients to avoid the treatment requirements of orthognathic surgery.
He is also one of the few dentists we know who creates lengthy treatment plans with Invisalign products (some lasting up to 2.5 years) combined with selective crown and/or veneer treatments to create great looks with optimized dental function. Although certainly not speedy.... his creativity and results oriented treatment plans has not gone unnoticed. Patients coming in from Bermuda, Bahama Islands and Haiti is not unusual.
Orthodontist SpecialistAnother practitioner in Michigan, Roy McAnnally, M.S. Ph.D., D.M.D., is known statewide by just about anyone involved in orthodontics. His practice focuses on practically every issue in orthodontia .... including the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular conditions arising from significant disturbances in the occlusal plane. Such disturbances lead to significant TMJ and TMD issues that affect adults.
Sleep Apnea, basically an airway passage disorder, is also treated by Dr. McAnnally. Orthodontic principles are used, with other popular known treatments, to overcome the issues of sleep disturbance expressed by adult patients.
Dr. McAnnally was one of the first orthodontists to incorporate Invisalign treatment alternatives into his practice. To date, his practice continues to be the largest Invisalign practice in the state.
Best Website ContentWebsites that contain information about treatment procedures and products used in creative ways (on a consistent basis) is a strong indicator of creativity and talent. These characteristics aren't acquired from text books nor formal training but rather an unusual interest that compels a practitioner to "find a better way". That "way" can be the procedure itself..... or the cosmetic - functional outcome.
Contrasted to websites that tend to have "average content".... an abundance of demonstrated creativity (not the same as skill) and talent (includes ample photography) would be a safe bet for a patient with unusual or extraordinary treatment needs.