Have you ever heard someone say “My dentist is also an orthodontist”?
Some people do not understand that there is a difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. The difference is education and experience. For this reason, we feel it is important to describe these differences. A qualified orthodontic specialist must first receive his/her doctorate in general dentistry, the same as your family dentist. Then, they must complete an additional 2-3 years of graduate training in orthodontics at an ADA approved university affiliated program. You will find general dentists that offer orthodontic services will use the term “orthodontics’ and not “orthodontist’. To do so, would require additional residency training to be a specialist. The Commonwealth of Virginia protects the consumer by not allowing general dentists to use the term “orthodontist”, which is allowed only to those who have completed a full time 2 or 3 year residency program.