Reasons to Choose an Orthodontist over a Dentist

American writer Max Eastman said “a smile is the universal welcome.” This statement rings true in a sentimental way, but also speaks to the beauty that exists behind a person’s grin. When we smile, we show another human being we are happy to see them, appreciate their joke, are flattered by their compliment, or feel joy that we cannot contain. Our smile often speaks for us. What do you want yours to say about you?

We all want our smiles to be welcoming, but many of us aren’t blessed with the genetics that give us a great grin. Luckily, we have accessible options to help us take care of our teeth. Proper dental hygiene is a must; studies have linked oral health to overall well-being and it turns out the state of your mouth says a lot about what’s going on in your body. There’s a lot to tackle when it comes to proper oral care and it can certainly be a mouthful. You probably know the go-to guy when it comes to this subject (and he might not be your favorite person to visit): the dentist.

What Dentists Do

Dentists cover a wide range of smile services that are generally focused on tooth maintenance. A visit to your dentist will provide care pertaining to hygiene and cleaning, removing buildup or decay from teeth, repairing or removing damaged teeth, reviewing X-rays and diagnostics, putting in fillings or sealants, and checking the growth of teeth and jawbones. In order to administer this type of care, an individual pursues an education in the dentistry field that takes anywhere between 6-8 years, depending on specialties or course of study.

These professionals care for your teeth the way your primary physician cares for your body. A dentist is trained to provide preventative care, treat ailments as they arise, and make diagnoses within their scope of knowledge. General practitioners of any sort refer patients to a specialist when something is not within their area of expertise. Many dentists list straightening and alignment procedures among the services they offer, but that type of treatment should only be sought from an orthodontist.

What an Orthodontist Does

Orthodontists have the same extensive training as a dentist, but then continue their education for an additional 2-3 years in an orthodontic graduate program. An orthodontist visit covers oral issues relating to the spacing and alignment of your teeth. Their specialized practice addresses problems like misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, spaces between teeth, overbites and underbites, crossbites, and tooth and jaw pain caused by improper bite. While some dentists may offer orthodontic-leaning procedures and cosmetic procedures like whitening, veneers, or crowns, it is important to remember orthodontic treatment should only be done by an orthodontist. Some orthodontic procedures may be cosmetic in nature, but the work requires movement of your teeth and sometimes your jaw. When seeking a speciality treatment, a patient should enlist a specialist.

The Importance of Seeing a Specialist for Your Smile

Let’s say you went to visit your primary care doctor for a suspicious lump. After running some tests, your doctor believes you could have cancer. If your doctor said, “I offer oncology services,” would you continue treatment with her? Or would you rather be referred to an oncologist? Medical treatment should not be a one-stop-shop in any capacity. A patient should always do their research and advocate for themselves in order to receive the quality of care they require.

Even your specialists should be specific about the quality of care they offer within their practice. In order to stay current in their field, professionals must continually research the latest technology developments. Milnor Orthodontics takes pride in the technology-driven treatment they offer their clients. Accuracy and efficiency are essential when it comes to your smile, so the technology must be as precise as possible. Milnor utilizes i-Tero scanners to make digital models of your teeth, which are seven times more accurate than traditional impression techniques. 

The practice also incorporates teledentistry via DentalMonitoring into their practice. Patients have the ability to have their progress tracked and questions answered whether or not they can make it to an in-person visit. Milnor Orthodontics strives to evolve with the technology so their patients’ smiles can evolve.

Taking care of your oral hygiene requires being proactive about your routine and accessing the appropriate professionals to do the job. While dental care is essential to a person’s healthcare regimen, orthodontics is a specialty that can improve a smile on a more intensive level. If a smile is the universal welcome, orthodontists most definitely run the welcoming committee. Invest in yourself and your face’s best asset by finding an orthodontist who fits your needs.

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.