Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (2023)

Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign?


Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (1)

Patients can often wonder should they see an orthodontist or regular dentist if they want to get Invisalign to discreetly straighten their smile. To answer this question, Dr. Ramtin (one of our orthodontic directors) wrote this blog to explain in more detail.

To begin to answer this question, it is important to first distinguish between the two. A dentist is a doctor who deals with the general aspects of your teeth. An orthodontist is a doctor who after having become a dentist, has spent a further three years at university to specialise and become an expert on how to straighten teeth correctly using different types of braces. More importantly, they get educated on and are trained in how to do this in a both a safe and predictable manner. In fact the very title orthodontist is rooted in this as it comes from the Greek words orthos for ‘straight, correct’ and odon for ‘tooth’.

Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (2)

During this intense three year period, they treat hundreds of cases with braces. Each procedure they work on is scrutinised and examined in fine detail by the best and brightest minds in this very specific field ensuring that they come out the other end as true experts at what they do. Let’s now look at Invisalign and where it enters the story . . .

Put simply, Invisalign is a type of brace. Although a modern appliance, it is based on traditional thinking and methods. To be able to use Invisalign, general dentists and orthodontists take a two day, in person certification course which allows them to use the system (or more frequently nowadays due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this is completed virtually).

Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (3)

Now for an orthodontist, this course is purely done to get access to the Invisalign system. But for many dentists, the two day course is their only experience with tooth movement and braces before they start using it on patients. The analogy is that when an orthodontist uses Invisalign, it’s similar to the idea of giving a carpenter a slightly different hammer and asking them to build the same table. They have all the experience and knowledge to be able to get the same exact result, even if the tool is slightly different to what they are used to.

For a dentist however this is not the case – because often they do not have the detailed theoretical knowledge to be able to plan these cases and execute them to an equally high standard safely. Therefore they end up having to rely on technicians (not dentists) who work for Invisalign, to plan the majority of their cases (whereas orthodontists will plan their own cases). This creates a big difference in the quality of results that is achieved.

So to answer the question ‘Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign?’ consider the following:

1. Choose an orthodontist if possible.

2. Look at previous cases on their social media profiles, they should exhibit the following:

Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (4)

a) You should see 70 – 80% of the lower front teeth (see image above) when the teeth are biting together. If the pictures do not show the teeth in contact, this is often because there has been a worsening of the bite.

b) Upper and lower midlines should match (see image below).

Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (5)

3. Ask to see ten to fifteen fixed braces before and after results as this shows the person has experience when it comes to orthodontic treatment prior to starting with Invisalign.

4. Ask to see three examples of a patient’s teeth similar to yours and what results were achieved (being careful to evaluate the results against point 2 a and b).

5. Ask to see ten cases carried out with Invisalign and assess the results against the criteria of point 2.

6. Ensure the consultation is carried out by the actual person who is going to do your treatment.

7. Ask the question: Is there someone more experienced than you, in the surrounding area, who can provide a better result?

Dr. Ramtin Taheri (MDDr. Specialist Orthodontist, GDC 179105)

Click / Tap here to book a FREE online Invisalign consultation with Dr. Ramtin or Dr. Damon (our orthodontists and Invisalign specialists) to find out how Invisalign at Dental on the Banks can help you! We are a Diamond provider of Invisalign, meaning that we have helped hundreds and hundreds of our patients to safely straighten their smile!

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Lillie’s Story

Should I See an Orthodontist or Dentist for Invisalign? (6)


I know this may sound silly but when I first started my business, a lot of self-criticism made it’s way into my world and I believed people didn’t want to work with me because of my smile, I used to be so nervous meeting a new client because of how ‘goofy’ my teeth were. That takes me back, ‘goofy’ was a reference I would answer to back in school days. I’d lived with this insecurity my whole life. If I knew the person I wanted to be, the business I wanted to run, I had to do one thing. GET MY TEETH DONE!”

I approached Dental On The Banks shortly after they opened and I was stunned. Not just at the beautiful appearance but how the price was really no different to the average dental practice in Bournemouth and Poole, yet at Dental On The Banks – you’re not waiting half an hour later than you’re appointment time and there aren’t any creeks when you walk to the waiting room.

The service at Dental On The Banks is, in its best description, having afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason. Let me talk this through. At the bottom we have the most perfectly homemade scones, still warm. You walk into DOTB and you’re greeted with the warmest smiles and service – your coffee is served quite literally but DOTB go a step further than Fortnum & Mason in this case and print your gorgeous face on the coffee. I know, crazy!

Let’s move up a level, those perfectly cut sandwiches – have you ever seen anything like it? I have. Dental On The Banks are pure perfectionists at what they do, they finely tune every tiny detail of your treatment, probably even details you didn’t notice yourself. Now we have the cutest little cakes, ok so you may have to cut out cake on your treatment plan; just kidding. With Invisalign you can remove your tray, eat, clean your teeth and pop your tray back in, nothing is coming between you and those cakes! Lastly, the endless sandwiches your waiter / waitress continuously comes around with, unlimited – THAT is the aftercare you get at Dental On The Banks. You aren’t a number, you are a name, a name that they remember and a name that they want to be in contact with and truly care about. Your teeth are like diamonds to DOTB.

That’s why I will never go to another dentist again. I‘ve met my match and you cannot begin to understand how amazing I feel when I smile now. No fear or self-criticism holding me back, your wellbeing is much more than you possibly think and it deserves more attention and investment than you possibly give it. Do not let anything hold you back from smiling and being your best version. After lockdown, please locate me at Fortnum & Mason showing off my Dental On The Banks smile.”

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