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Why Choose an Orthodontist for Invisalign Treatment Over a Mail Order or General Dentist Provider

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Sharing a smile is something special. A bright, happy smile communicates warmth, friendliness, and openness. It makes the giver and the receiver feel good. Smiling boosts endorphin levels, increases our sense of well-being, and is the first step in forming human connections. Smiling more—genuinely and with confidence—can make a huge difference in your life.

Great smiles are why more and more people are choosing clear aligners, such as the Invisalign system, to correct bite and jaw alignment issues or treat painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. A metal-free alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign consists of a series of custom-fit plastic aligners that move your teeth to their ideal position in small increments. The Invisalign system is popular because the aligners are transparent and inconspicuous, and there are no food restrictions, as with metal braces and brackets.

Orthodontists are the specialists when it comes to straightening teeth, but these days you might see offers for Invisalign treatment from general dentists, mail order companies, and even Groupon offers. Some of these sources might even offer treatment at apparently deep discounts. Before you buy, however, you’ll want to consider whether the savings up front might end up costing you more down the road.

“Dentists and orthodontists share many similarities, but orthodontists have an additional 4 years of specialty training. When it comes to straightening your teeth or improving your bite, it’s best to put the care of your teeth in a specialist,” says Dr. LynAn Mastaj, an orthodontist who has been creating beautiful smiles for over 30 years in the Philadelphia area. “While these mail order programs might look cheaper up front, they can cost you thousands in the long run. Inexpert treatment can create new problems, like tooth loss, gum disease, open bites, and cavities.”

Orthodontists are the ideal choice for a great smile because they’re specifically trained to straighten teeth. In fact, the word “orthodontics” comes from two Greek words: orthos meaning “straight or proper,” and odon meaning “tooth.” Like traditional dentists, orthodontists attend a 4-year dental school to learn the intricacies of oral health and dental care. After graduation, orthodontists spend several years learning to diagnose and treat irregularities in the teeth and jaw, such as misaligned teeth, improper bite, occlusion, and overcrowding. As experts in the complexities of tooth movement, growth, and development, orthodontists are uniquely qualified to create individualized treatment plans that yield perfectly aligned teeth.

Dr. Mastaj

For dentists and other providers, on the other hand, the brief training program on how to use the Invisalign system is often their first experience with tooth movement and aligners. In many cases, they rely on technicians or lab assistants to provide direct patient care. These providers usually have little medical education and expertise. By contrast, an experienced orthodontist has experience with hundreds of cases.

Teeth are complicated. An orthodontist can quickly identify whether the alignment isn’t tracking as planned, and can draw on years of training and experience to devise a solution mid-course. Other providers might not be prepared to handle unexpected complications or have the high-tech orthodontic equipment needed to make corrections. Some may even need to refer you to an orthodontist to finish the job—costing you more in the long run. “The fact is, an orthodontist’s specialized knowledge allows patients to get the best care, and more value in the long run. We can provide more personalization, supervision of the gums and bones throughout treatment, treat TMJ more effectively, and can get ideal results,” says Dr. Mastaj.

Dr. Mastaj

If you’re interested in learning more about the Invisalign system, contact the office of Mastaj Orthodontics in Bryn Mawr, PA, at (610) 525-2277. Dr. Mastaj is a dedicated orthodontist whose individualized orthodontic plans create beautiful smiles every day.

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