You have so many choices for straightening your teeth nowadays — clear aligners, ceramic braces, lingual braces, self-ligating braces — but who is best suited to guide you through orthodontic treatment? Well, an orthodontist like Dr. Corina Radu of course!
This may seem obvious, but there’s misinformation circulating with regard to the roles dentists and orthodontists play in treating patients’ oral health.
Dentists are trained to clean teeth, fill cavities, perform certain dental surgeries, and examine overall oral health. Many dentists now offer braces to their patients, and many services offer mail-order aligners, but according to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s better to consult an orthodontist if you need to straighten teeth or fix a bite.
Why choose Dr. Radu over a general dentist? Because she is...
- A specialist in straightening teeth and aligning jaws, even advanced cases
- Required to study an additional two to three years after dental school
- Trained to choose the correct treatment option
- Trained to recognize the potential pitfalls with certain treatments and cases, which means there’s less chance of problems after treatment has started or been completed
- Familiar with emerging treatments and technologies so she can make the best choice for your case
Some dentists claim to have taken enough continuing education or additional training to offer braces to their patients. But this can't compare to the advanced training that Dr. Radu received during her education.
Ideally, Dr. Radu will work with your dentist to make sure your oral health and the alignment of teeth and jaws are the best they can be.
In-Office vs. Mail-Order Aligners
Now that mail-order clear aligners are available, you might consider giving them a try to save some money. But is straightening your own teeth really a good idea? When it comes to your smile, using straightening methods without professional monitoring can often cause more harm than good.
Mail-order aligners are sometimes less expensive because there is no in-person medical supervision. A dental professional working for the company will look at the model created from molds you submit, and recommend a series of aligners to correct the problems he detects by looking at the model and your selfies. This supervisor will not be able to assess the overall dental health of each patient to make sure teeth and gums are healthy and ready to start treatment, and will not be able to tell if the teeth are moving properly or improperly once the aligners are in use.
When you visit our Elmhurst or Downers Grove orthodontic offices, Dr. Radu will use digital scanning technology to create your impressions. Mail-order aligners require you to do all the work: making a putty mold of your own upper and lower teeth, which is not the easiest thing to do well and taking selfies of your teeth.
When your first sets of aligners arrive, Dr. Radu will check for fit, answer any questions you might have about use and care, and let you know what to look for and what to expect. In contrast, mail-order aligners will be sent to your home. There will be no one to tell you if the aligners fit properly or give you guidance on how to wear them.
Finally, while generic aligners may potentially have some success in minor tooth straightening, they are not created to deal with complex bite issues or malocclusions. In fact, using generic aligners with no supervision can cause more serious dental problems than a patient started with.
While do-it-yourself projects turn out well most of the time, your teeth and bones are too important for home improvement. When it comes to creating a beautiful, even smile, and balanced, comfortable bite while making sure of your dental health, it’s always best to trust Dr. Radu to provide you with gentle, tested, and successful care!