Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

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Posts: 37
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Location: UK

Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#1 Post by Rebachi »

Hi all,

I'm currently reviewing all my options at the moment. Being in the UK, it seems that you have to pay for most consultations to get a brace so I've only been to see a cosmetic dentist so far. He suggested a combination treatment of invisalign and a fixed brace to fix my various bite issues and to straighten my teeth. However, most of the advice online suggested seeing a specialist qualified orthodontist as they know more about the field.

Can anyone definitely say that seeing an Orthodontist would be advantageous over seeing a cosmetic dentist? I'm new to all of this so at first I didn't even know there was that much of a difference! The orthodontist I'm interested in seeing is quite far away and my dentist referred me to a different place that has really bad reviews - Paying £95 for a consultation is a bit much in both cases. Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks :)

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#2 Post by Mightymildred »

In my opinion you get what you pay for....
I've had some really really bad experiences with dentists- including a dentist taking the wrong tooth out...
So I'd say go and see the best person in the field- ie a qualified post grad orthodontist.
Good luck on your braces journey.
Don't forget to keep us posted.

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#3 Post by djspeece »

As soon as you mentioned "bite issues" the answer seems very clear: see an orthodontist. Best of luck to you!

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#4 Post by sirwired »

Orthodontist; no question.

Orthodontists aren't perfect, but your chances of a good result go way up if the person treating you has gone through the expense, time, and trouble of a formal orthodontics program.

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#5 Post by Rebachi »

Thanks for the advice! I've decided to book a full consultation with an orthodontist to see what they offer and what treatments I need :)

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#6 Post by mmkay »

Also a "cosmetic dentist" is simply a "dentist" who has decided to slap "cosmetic" in front for marketing reasons, and it can indicate something about their priorities. Personally this would probably make me less likely to see them in their capacity as a dentist that places veneers etc.

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#7 Post by BracesGuy »

I would definitely recommend going to an ortho. A specialist orthodontist has taken years of training in orthodontics after they qualified as a dentist. You might find there isn't much difference in treatment price either (it just depends).

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#8 Post by TreadLightly »

I had braces for 5 years so this is my opinion. After getting my braces off (results from orthodontist not from cosmetic dentist) I still wanted more. Even though my alignment had been made ideal, there were certain things I didn't get from him. These are things like adjusting gum line to make my teeth appear more symmetrical. So I will be seeing a cosmetic dentist in the future, so I'd consider all your options.

I see it as our smiles can be broken down into categories

Alignment - if this is your biggest and most important issue, seek an orthodontist
Whiteness - can be dealt with many ways from over the counter products to seeking dentists
Aesthetic touch ups - ranging from shaving off some teeth to make them appear the same length, adjusting gum line or more

Analyze which category is more important for you and choose accordingly. For myself alignment was the most important factor at the time, and I saw the most improvement seeking an orthodontist. Now I'm just cleaning up the loose ends.

Hope this helped a little

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#9 Post by Rebachi »

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply! Just an update: I decided to go for the fixed braces with an orthodontist, not the cosmetic dentist. It seemed to be the best option in the end and the orthodontist was very professional with the cost being the same amount. I felt that he was more qualified for the job but I appreciate all of your input. It helped me consider going further afield to find a decent orthodontist that I couldn't find in my city!

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#10 Post by NeilH »

I think that is a decision you are going to be really glad you made. An orthodontist has so much more training and experience as well as resources available to them and the longer term benefits are likely to be so much better. Good luck.

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Re: Cosmetic Dentist or Orthodontist?

#11 Post by DrJasonKTam »

Great choice. Truth is that there is no such thing as a cosmetic dentist. When is the last time a dentist anyone went to did not care about cosmetics?

As others have echoed, orthodontists are specialists in tooth movement. Yes there is no guarantee of perfect results, and you will see many of the negative issues here on the board by nature of it being an online forum, but there is no doubt that as a whole, orthodontists are more qualified to provide orthodontic treatment than general dentists.

This does not mean cosmetic work cannot be done after orthodontic treatment. We have many patients that seek ortho to setup their teeth in position for their dentist to change the shape and colour of teeth after teeth have been aligned.
Dr. Jason Tam
Toronto Invisalign, Scarborough braces, and Markham Orthodontist
Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider
Thrice Published in the Invisalign Case Gallery

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