If you’ve been thinking about straightening your smile, you may be wondering if this is something your dentist can handle or if you’ll need to find a specialist like an orthodontist. You’re not alone—many people think that dentists and orthodontists are interchangeable, but there are actually some significant differences between the two. When it comes to your smile, they’re not interchangeable! It’s important to understand why you should trust your smile to an expert orthodontist in order to make the best decision for yourself and your family.
Here at Lake Jackson Orthodontics, we’re proud to provide patients of all ages with exceptional care and incredible results. As a highly trained orthodontist, Dr. McGrory has the necessary skills to correct many orthodontic issues. Once you understand what our practice can offer you that the average dental practice can’t, we think you’ll agree that trusting your smile to an expert orthodontist is a smart move. After all, you only get one smile! To learn more about us, keep reading below.
Additional education, training, and experience
It’s true that dentists and orthodontists follow a similar path while they’re in dental school. However, that changes after graduation! At this point, most dentists will go directly into practice, while orthodontists will enter a residency program. These programs are highly competitive and only the top graduating dental students are accepted. They usually last 2-3 years and include a range of specialized education and training. Most of this focuses on identifying and correcting orthodontic issues.
To put it another way, an orthodontist is a dentist with additional years of education and training in orthodontics. While there are exceptions to every rule, most general dentists won’t possess this same level of experience in correcting bad bites and straightening smiles.
Dr. McGrory could tell you exactly how much work goes into becoming an orthodontist! He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Art History and Archaeology. He went on to study dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where he graduated first in his class. While earning his DDS degree, Dr. McGrory received multiple scholastic awards, including induction into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honors Society, an honor limited to the top 10% in any graduating class, and the prestigious Kramer Award.
Dr. McGrory gained his board certification from the American Board of Orthodontics in 2009. He also serves as a diplomate for the Board and remains a committed lifelong learner. He regularly completes continuing education courses in the field of orthodontics to ensure he is providing you with the best orthodontic experience possible.
Are dentists able to straighten teeth?
While all dentists do receive some basic orthodontic education at school, it’s relatively minimal compared with the training someone like Dr. McGrory receives. Some general dentists can provide quality orthodontic care to their patients, but this is usually due to them acquiring additional skills through seminars and workshops. This allows them to expand their experience, but these continuing education courses can’t compare to the more rigorous programs that are dedicated to orthodontics.
If your family dentist offers some orthodontic care, we understand why you’d be tempted to use them. Most of us prefer the known to the unknown, and you’re already familiar with their office and staff. But before you move forward with treatment from your dentist, consider what an experienced orthodontist like Dr. McGrory can offer! This includes:
- A wider variety of treatment options
- A treatment plan built around your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals
- More efficient treatments and visits, since orthodontics is our main focus
- The best outcome for your smile, particularly if you have a complex case
At Lake Jackson Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing every patient with the highest-quality orthodontic care and exceptional results. Dr. McGrory performs teeth-straightening procedures daily, and our entire team stays up to date on the latest in industry practice. We put a lot of time and energy into giving our patients the best orthodontic experience around!
Personalized care gives you the best results
As the patient, it will always be up to you to choose the care provider you feel most comfortable with. But when it comes to creating the healthiest smile possible, we think it makes sense to consider an orthodontist! Think of it this way: if you needed open-heart surgery or an appendectomy, would you prefer your family doctor or look for the best surgeon available? While general dentists can provide some basic orthodontic work, it doesn’t mean they’re the best choice. And you deserve the best!
Trust your smile to an expert with Lake Jackson Orthodontics
Here at Lake Jackson Orthodontics, we go out of our way to make you feel welcome and comfortable from the moment you walk in the door. Since our sole specialty is straightening smiles, you’ll find that our expert team has the expertise to give you long-lasting results you’ll love! When you schedule an evaluation with us, Dr. McGrory will perform a thorough examination of your smile. Afterward, he’ll walk you through his findings and outline his recommended treatment plan. This is a no-pressure appointment! If you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, we’ll still be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.