My Dentist Provides Braces. Do I Need an Orthodontist?

Many people mistakenly believe that a dentist and an orthodontist are the same. With some dentists providing orthodontic care and orthodontists being skilled in dental care, it is, admittedly, confusing. However, there are differences between the two, as well as some important reasons to choose a certified orthodontic specialist for treatments designed to straighten teeth or improve a bite, explains Dr. Jeannie Moody of Moody Orthodontics




What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. To obtain their dental degrees, all orthodontists and general dentists must complete nearly 8,000 hours of dental training. General dentists are highly trained to diagnose and treat problems with teeth and gums. 

Beyond the general dentistry education and training, orthodontic specialists must complete an additional 2-3 years of training in orthodontic care. Orthodontics focuses on the relationship between the mouth, jaw, teeth, and tissues of the mouth and their impact on the bite and facial anatomy. By the time an orthodontist works in private practice, they have had the advantage of treating thousands of patients for a full range of complicated orthodontic issues. 

The relationship is similar to a family doctor and a surgeon. Both medical professionals provide quality care that is absolutely important to health. However, if a person needed their appendix removed, they would go to someone with specialized training in that area. 

How Does a Dentist Provide Clear Aligners?

Dentists that provide clear aligners must have the training to do so. The manufacturers of the aligners provide mandatory classes that can last between 1-3 hours, followed by a half-day of in-person training before becoming qualified to provide them to their patients. Once the dentist provides the aligners, the company’s lab technicians guide them through the patient’s treatment. 

Orthodontics is Not Just about Straight Teeth

While not often understood, orthodontic care’s importance, function, and value go far beyond a stunning smile. Here are some important reasons why patients should see a certified orthodontist for orthodontic care. 


  • Not all patients are good candidates for clear aligner treatments and may not get the desired results. 
  • Crooked teeth may not be the only problem. If uncorrected, an uneven bite or jaw dysfunction can lead to tooth wear, improper chewing, and other problems. 
  • An orthodontist provides a comprehensive approach to orthodontics and specializes in the teeth, gums, jaw joints, facial aesthetics, and all surrounding oral and maxillofacial structures. They ensure these elements work together correctly for optimal oral health. 
  • Every patient is different and needs personalized treatment. Orthodontists provide a wide range of treatment options and can determine which options are best based on the patient’s individualized needs. 
  • Orthodontic work performed incorrectly or incompletely often requires further care later in life, which leads to added costs, time, and inconvenience. 


Orthodontics In Austin, TX

Whether considering Invisalign® or other orthodontic treatments, consider leading Austin orthodontist Jeannie Moody of Moody Orthodontics. Dr. Moody provides personalized treatment and compassionate care to every patient. As a leading professional, she is dedicated to the pursuit of innovative treatment and inspiring other orthodontists. In addition to caring for patients at her two locations, Dr. Moody is also the founder of a study club with diamond invisalign provider orthodontists from around the world who share her passion for innovation, sharing knowledge, and solving complex cases with the most advanced methods. Dr. Moody is a member of many Orthodontic Associations, such as Orthodontic Partners (OP) and Women in Orthodontics (WIO), and a sought-after national speaker such as in the 2022 MASO-NESO Joint Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, MSO/SAO/SWSO Annual Session 2022 in Austin, TX, and the forthcoming PCSO 87th Annual Session to be held in Anaheim, CA. To reach the office, call (512) 447-6453.

Moody Orthodontics

2500 W. William Cannon Dr. 

Ste 102 

Austin, TX 78745

South Austin Dripping Springs Text Us