Getting orthodontic treatment is a big decision for most Singaporeans. Treatment may take years and involves a significant cost and as such it is important to do the right research before making such a big commitment. Your smile and dental health will be greatly improved if you take the time to research and arrive at a well-informed decision.
Here are some considerations for Singaporeans when choosing an Orthodontist
1. What is the difference between an Orthodontist and General Dentist when it comes to performing Orthodontic treatment?
An Orthodontist has received additional specialised training in the field of Orthodontics to achieve the relevant specialist certification and qualification to practise Orthodontics. This typically involves additional residency training for an additional 2 to 3 years to develop the necessary skills and competencies. On the other hand, a dentist only possesses general training in dentistry and may do some Orthodontics or Invisalign because of receiving training during a weekend course or several seminars. Typically, dentists are licensed to perform general dental work and their main dental services include bridges, cleanings, crowns, fillings and implants.
Since an Orthodontist solely focuses on performing Orthodontic treatment, they are among the most qualified and possess the most experience in delivering a set of straight teeth and a beautiful smile.
2. How will I know if I'm seeing an Orthodontist or General Dentist?
Most Orthodontic clinics will have a certification highlighting that they are specialists in Orthodontics. Other hallmarks of an Orthodontic specialist are the American Association of Orthodontics logo and the American Board of Orthodontics logo. Only trained Orthodontists are eligible to be members of these distinguished organizations
3. Does the Orthodontist have experience with early interceptive treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children at the age of 7 are seen for an Orthodontic evaluation. This recommendation arises from dental problems that affect children such as thumb, finger or tongue habit, underbite, overbite, crossbite, not enough space for adult teeth to come in etc. Performing early interceptive treatment may reduce the need for additional Orthodontic treatment being performed in the patient's later life.