December 31, 2020
As a parent, you want the best for your child, and that includes a lifetime of healthy smiles. Healthy, properly aligned teeth play an essential role in your overall health and the confidence that comes with a beautiful smile can be life-changing. While many people consider their dentist for their orthodontic evaluation, there are a number of benefits when you trust an experienced orthodontist with your family’s smiles.
At Central Virginia Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer high-quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Lynchburg and the surrounding communities. Dr. Eric Baugher and Dr. Jennifer Claiborne have been creating healthy, beautiful smiles for 20 years, providing exceptional care to families just like yours. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a general dentist and an orthodontist and how our team can help care for your smile. Keep reading below to learn more!
Education, training, and experience
While dentists and orthodontists both start their careers in dental school, their paths diverge after graduation. Orthodontists must complete two to three years of additional specialized education and training in how to identify and treat misalignment of the teeth and jaws. During this time, they also:
- study the growth and maturation of a child’s mouth
- learn biomechanical techniques to successfully move the teeth with braces and aligners
- develop their diagnostic skills
- work on numerous case studies
As you can see, there’s quite a lot that goes into becoming an orthodontist! And while there are exceptions to every rule, most general dentists will not possess this level of orthodontic training and experience. That being said, all dentists will receive some basic orthodontic training in dental school and are capable of providing quality orthodontic care to their patients. These dentists will often sharpen their skills with continuing education seminars and workshops.
The downside to this, of course, is that workshops and seminars can’t quite cover the same extensive material in the same depth as the years of specialized training an orthodontist receives. Dentists with orthodontic experience will still lack the level of education and training of a dedicated orthodontist.
More Treatment Options For Your Smile
If you have a family dentist who offers orthodontic care, we understand that you’d consider them for your treatment. After all, you most likely already have a relationship with them and their team, and most people prefer the familiar over the unknown. But before you move forward with orthodontic treatment from your dentist, you should consider the benefits of choosing an experienced orthodontist at Central Virginia Orthodontics. These include:
- a wider variety of treatment options, like metal braces, clear braces, and clear aligner systems like Invisalign
- a customized treatment plan created just for you based on your unique needs, lifestyle, and desired results
- more efficient treatments and visits, since orthodontics is their main focus
- the best possible outcome for your smile, especially if your case is complex or severe
At Central Virginia Orthodontics, our only focus is on orthodontic care and treatment. Dr. Baugher and Dr. Claiborne perform teeth straightening procedures daily and are constantly striving to learn and improve. Our entire team stays up to date on the latest in industry practices by regularly attending continuing education courses, whether in-person or online (which are much more common these days!) Our Lynchburg office is equipped with the latest orthodontic equipment, allowing us to provide patients with high-quality care and stunning results. Treatment options include:
Traditional metal braces are still the most widely used orthodontic appliance, and have come a long way in recent years! They are typically made of a mix of high-grade stainless steel, nickel, and other durable metals. Bands wrap around the back molars, and smaller metal brackets are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. There is also a thin, springy metal wire that runs through the brackets, which may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or another type of clasp. All of these components come together to gently guide your teeth into the desired positions over time.
Sometimes called ceramic braces, these function in the same way metal braces do, but are made of clear materials instead of stainless steel. Because they are less visible than traditional braces, they’re popular with older teens and adult patients who may be more image-conscious. They are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts, so we tend to use them on the upper front teeth more often than the lower teeth.
The Invisalign system is made up of a series of unique, made to order aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. Unlike traditional braces, no brackets and wires are needed to move the teeth! This gives you more freedom and flexibility that traditional braces just can’t beat. Designed to fit snugly but comfortably over your own teeth, Invisalign provides a more subtle and comfortable orthodontic experience. When worn the recommended 20-22 hours per day, and changed out weekly with the next in the set, these aligners will gradually move your teeth into the desired positions.
Specialized Care Produces the Best Smiles
As the patient, you have the right to choose the healthcare provider you feel most comfortable with. But when it comes to the way your smile looks, feels, and functions, we think it makes sense to find an orthodontist who has specialized education and training in how to safely and effectively move your teeth – and we have two of the best! While some dentists can provide orthodontic services, Dr. Baugher and Dr. Claiborne each have years of experience in creating beautifully aligned, healthy smiles.
Orthodontic care with an experienced orthodontist can also help you avoid any unnecessary complications. Orthodontists are more likely to notice small things that a general dentist may overlook and will recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your unique set of needs. This can reduce treatment times and lessen the chance of any complications. The treatment plan itself will be time-effective, affordable, and built around your unique smile.
Trust your family’s smiles to Central Virginia Orthodontics
When you trust an experienced orthodontist with your family’s smiles, you can trust that you’ll receive only the best in care and treatment options. Our team will take all the time you need to ensure you understand your treatment and feel confident in your care. We strive to provide a welcoming environment and unmatched service from your first appointment to your last! And since our only focus is orthodontics, we’re able to give our patients nothing but the best.
Are you ready to take the first step towards a healthier smile? We’d love to meet you! When you schedule your initial consultation with our office, you’ll receive a thorough evaluation by one of our expert doctors. Following your exam, we’ll provide you with a thorough diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
This is a no-pressure visit! Even if you decide not to start your orthodontic treatment right away, our team will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you have to help you make the best choice for your smile.