Which is Better Orthodontist, Dentist or Both?

better orthodontist

Making the decision about when to see a dentist or an orthodontist can be confusing. There is really no need to decide which is better, orthodontist or dentist. It really just depends on your needs.

When a doctor studies orthodontics, they first become a dentist. Then they study orthodontics, defined as the treatment of irregularities in the teeth and jaws, including the use of braces.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when deciding which is better, orthodontist or dentist, for you. If you have what you consider to be normal teeth and a normal bite when you are chewing your food, and you only need the regular cleanings and occasional fillings, chances are you will be fine with a traditional family dentist.

In most cases, your family dentist will let you know if you or your child need to see an orthodontist. Should this occur, there is no need to panic. An orthodontist is a dentist, too, but one that can make a major improvement in your health and smile. Going to an orthodontist is an exciting experience that will leave you looking and feeling better.

So, if you need to see an orthodontist for a while, don’t worry about the rest of your dental issues. They are all under the control of a master – your orthodontist in Shawnee.

Shawnee Orthodontist Office

The Special Ops of Dentistry – Better Orthodontist with Three Years on the Front Lines of Alignment

Orthodontists go through the same licensing and have much of the same training in the broad medical specialty as a dentist. The main difference is an orthodontist also goes through special training to learn how to straighten teeth.

Dr. Priscilla Larson and Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald of Sky Ortho in Moore and Shawnee both have degrees in dentistry and orthodontics. Dr. Larson has her degree in dentistry from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. In addition, she has a doctorate in dental medicine following her three-year residency in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Fitzgerald has graduated from the University of Oklahoma with Special Distinction in Microbiology. He then went to the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry where he graduated with distinction. Subsequently, he specialized in Orthodontics at NOVA Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.

better Orthodontist

Orthodontists’ Credentials include both Dentistry and Orthodontics

Many families find a new dentist when they move simply by asking for a recommendation from their current family dentist. Dr. Larson has been practicing orthodontics exclusively in Texas and Oklahoma since 2010. She is so happy to have established and expanded her practice locally to her Oklahoma City area neighbors including Chickasha, Norman, Shawnee, and Moore to six days a week.

And in 2019, she was joined by Dr. Fitzgerald. He has a long personal and family history in the field of orthodontics. While an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma, he worked for his uncle’s orthodontic practice in Norman, OK — the city where he was born and raised.

You can contact the local or state dental society for the credentials of both our doctors. Also, the ADA gives a list of local and state dental societies on its website as well.

Better Orthodontist

A Better Orthodontist, Like a Better Dentist, has Better Online Reviews

  • Whichever professional you are searching for, look for a trained professional, and verify what you read in the dental reviews. A better orthodontist will have better reviews.
  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family, or ask your current dentist if you have one.
  • When you have four recommendations, Google them. You are not only looking for dentists close to you but ones that have established practices and positive reviews.
  • Read the reviews carefully. Ensure that they are legitimate. Find ones that relay personal stories or give details that are like your needs.

Call or Visit the Office in Person and Ask Questions

Take a close look at your own situation. If you or your child have crooked or crowded teeth, a misaligned jaw, or a bad bite, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatments including braces for teens, kids or adults, Invisalign, headgear, retainers, or similar appliances. Better orthodontist options are always open for discussion at Sky Ortho where modern technologies are improving choices every day.

If your child has traditional dental issues such as cavities while undergoing orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist may discuss options about treatment. Remember, an orthodontist is a dentist and can do the same work as your dentist.

In special circumstances, your orthodontist might recommend a visit to your family dentist if it makes more sense. Such situations can be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Better Orthodontist

Some Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist

There are many important questions you should ask your orthodontist before visiting. We have answered some of these online for you here on the Sky Ortho website. Just follow our links below. You may call our office for added information or stop by to discuss.

Better Smile

We want to make your first visit to the orthodontist as easy as possible. At Sky Ortho, we try to make a visit to our office feel as close to home as possible. You are welcome to stop by for a visit and meet the Sky Ortho team!

As doctors of dentistry, active members of the community, and investing members of the chamber of commerce supporting the success of local businesses, our doctors and our staff are happy to be your neighbors and to proudly live and work in the Oklahoma City area.

6 Good Teeth Foods for a Healthier Smile

good teeth foods
Good teeth foods create summer and fall fun for the whole family with a kitchen garden.

Cultivating a family kitchen garden is a wonderful way to teach young children healthy eating when it comes to good teeth foods. What are good teeth foods? According to family orthodontists Dr. Priscilla Larson and Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald of Sky Ortho in Moore and Shawnee, they are foods that contribute to the growth of strong bones and teeth and support dental maintenance.

This is especially good during the summer months when kids have more time to focus on a project, and the entire family is looking for cool, refreshing treats.

good teeth foods
Ice cream and popsicles are okay for special occasions but can be hard on teeth. Look for cool alternatives to sweet sugary summer treats.

Summer’s Sweet Treats Require Special Care for Teeth

Of course, during these sizzling summer months, cool sugary treats and drinks such as soda, ice cream, frozen pops, and snow cones are favorite go-to for the entire family at the beach, poolside, on picnics and after play. But everyone no matter what age, should brush soon after eating to ensure bacteria does not form.

While desserts are the obvious culprit, did you know pasta and bread can also create dangerous levels of bacteria in the mouth? So, also be sure to rinse and brush after those cold pasta salads, French bread po’boys and endless sandwiches.

Reusable water bottle
Bottled water lacks fluoride. However, a reusable water bottle allows you to fill your own and keeps plastic out of the environment.

Not All Fruits and Veggies are Good Teeth Foods

Milk and acidic foods and fruits can also cause problems. These eat away at tiny cracks in the enamel of your teeth and allow cavities to form. When this occurs, these cracks in your teeth will widen even more when you bite down.

“Drinking fluoride in your water helps but many people now drink bottled water,” said family orthodontist and mom, Dr. Larson. “This does not have any fluoride in it. It’s a good idea to ask your dentist about fluoride substitutes during your next visit if you drink a lot of bottled water.”

Good teeth foods
Gardening is a great activity for the family and the harvest is good teeth foods.

Getting Started on Gardening your Good Teeth Foods

For the sake of family gardening in a small area with children, we will focus on six good teeth foods that you can grow but there are many more.

If you live in an urban area, Dr. Larson also suggests engaging the family in planting a patio garden — or if you have a full-size yard, go bigger. To plant a patio garden with family, you will need the following or watch this easy to follow YouTube video with the Crafty Gemini:

  • Long clay, plastic, or wooden planter boxes (18-24” long x 4-6” wide).
  • Packets of seeds of your choice (one per box such as strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, onions, sweet potatoes, watermelon). You can also do kiwis and figs in a 15-gallon container.
  • Good natural bagged garden soil.
  • Only buy non-toxic sprays and fertilizers!
  • Something to mark your pots so you will know what you have planted.
  • Something to water with (a bucket or watering can).
  • If you have little nibblers in the family, like Dr. Larson and her husband Erick do, you can put on their bunny ears while gardening so they can pretend to be rabbits!
Strawberries are a sweet treat for healthy teeth and it brightens them, too!

The Good Teeth Foods Straight from the Garden

1 Strawberries taste like candy and they also whiten teeth if you rinse after.

2 Spinach and other leafy greens are high in vitamins and minerals, plus they have phosphorus, which is good for bones and teeth.

3 Carrots have vitamin A which builds tooth enamel, Dr. Larson says plus chewing raw carrots removes plaque from your teeth and the chewing action produces extra saliva which supports dental health.

good teeth foods
Raw onions have many health benefits for your teeth.

4 Raw onions have many anti-bacterial compounds, removing oral bacteria with every bite. While they might give you bad breath, raw onions do a lot to remove bacteria and improve oral health.

5 Sweet potatoes are another good one for your teeth due to their vitamin D content, a vital nutrient that develops naturally with healthy sun exposure. Unfortunately, in Oklahoma, where the weather is often dangerously hot, people stay inside. Dr. Larson says the vitamin D from sweet potatoes is crucial for healthy skin, heart and teeth, and a smart choice for dental health.

good teeth foods
Watermelon is one sweet treat that is sure to cool off parents and kids alike.

6 Finally, a summertime favorite — watermelon. Watermelon is loaded with essential nutrients like Vitamin A that helps with good vision, Vitamin C which keeps the immune system strong, heals wounds, encourages healthy teeth and gums, and prevents cellular damage. Watermelon also helps prevent summer colds. The Vitamin B6 in watermelon is a nutrient that helps brains function better by allowing our bodies to convert protein into energy. Plus, watermelon is a great source of water and staying hydrated is important during the summer. Watermelon is hands-down, the favorite summertime low-fat, no-guilt, healthy treat.


Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City to Find Out if You Need Braces as an Adult

Visit an orthodontist in Oklahoma City if you are considering braces for yourself or anyone in your family. Dr. Priscilla Larson or Dr. Ryan Fitzgerald, both licensed orthodontists in Oklahoma, will help families understand the right time to get braces OKC. Sky Ortho provides orthodontic treatment services and helps everyone from Oklahoma who is looking for an orthodontist in Moore, Norman, Shawnee, or the OKC metro area. In addition, this OKC Orthodontist is also one of the select providers for Invisalign.

While many people think that only preteens and teenagers need to get braces, adults get braces, too. In fact, more than a million adults wear braces, and the trend continues to grow. Whether you are uncomfortable with your smile or have trouble with oral hygiene because of the placement of your teeth, adult braces have many benefits.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City

Learn About Adult Options When You Visit An Orthodontist in Oklahoma City

Traditional metal braces are the norm for many, but you have other options for straightening your teeth. Depending on your budget and the severity of your misaligned teeth, your orthodontist may recommend dental aligners, lingual — or behind-the-teeth — braces, or porcelain braces. Porcelain braces are on the teeth like traditional metal braces, but with less conspicuous brackets.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City

You Get More from Braces as an Adult Than Straight Teeth

As you age, your mouth and jaw change shape. In addition, your jawbone naturally loses density causing your teeth to shift. Over time, teeth become crowded and some people experience pain or discomfort when chewing and swallowing. Teeth that overlap also become difficult to clean, making teeth more susceptible to dental decay.

Braces not only straighten teeth to give you a more natural smile, but they also improve overall oral health. Many patients who get braces are over 50 years of age. They choose to get braces due to oral discomfort.

Adult Braces

Gain Confidence in Your Smile When You Visit an Orthodontist in Oklahoma City

Studies have shown that people with straighter teeth are viewed as more successful than those with crooked teeth. That is because people associate straight teeth with health and attractiveness. This means, perceived flaws in your smile can give others a bad first impression when you apply for a job, go on a date, or meet people for the first time.

You gain confidence in your smile when you get braces because you no longer feel self-conscious about the way your teeth look. Write down your concerns about your teeth and discuss them with your orthodontist to see if braces are a good solution for your dental needs.

Adult Braces

You Can Better Afford Treatment Later in Life

Braces are not as expensive as you think. According to a Harvard Medical School study, the average adult spends anywhere a range from $5-7,500 for braces. If you need braces for reasons beyond cosmetics — such as preventing dental decay or improving the way you speak and eat — your dental insurance may even help cover the costs. The cost for adult braces varies depending on the type of braces needed. Your orthodontist will show you the options that are best for your oral needs and budget.

Visit An Orthodontist In Oklahoma City

Your Time Wearing Braces as an Adult Passes Quickly

The average adult wears braces anywhere from 18 to 26 months. How long you will wear braces depends on the style of braces you choose and alignment factors. Your orthodontist will adjust your braces every few weeks as your teeth respond to treatment. After the orthodontist removes your braces, he or she will have you fitted for a retainer to align your new smile.

After receiving braces, your mouth will feel sore, and eating and speaking will be uncomfortable while you get used to your dental appliance. Dr. Larson or Dr. Fitzgerald will show you ways to take care of your teeth while wearing braces to keep your oral health in check.

Braces change your life and improve your overall health and oral hygiene. Speak to our highly trained and friendly staff at Sky Ortho for all your orthodontic needs. We specialize in both pediatric and adult dental care and will improve your smile today. Contact Sky Ortho today to learn more about Invisalign or braces.


What is an Orthodontist? Where to Go When You Need a Specialist in Dentistry

what is an orthodontist

What is an orthodontist and how are they different than a dentist? This is a question many people ask when they first learn they will visit an orthodontist. Often, they turn to the Internet for an answer and Google it.

Orthodontists are dental specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They provide a wide range of treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, fix bad bites, and align the jaws correctly.

After completing a four-year bachelor’s degree and a four-year degree in dentistry, an orthodontist undergoes another 5,000 hours (three years) of specialist training in orthodontics. Whether you are being treated with braces or aligners, be sure you’re being treated by an orthodontist for best results.

30% of the Population Need to Know — What is an Orthodontist?

Abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws is common. In fact, nearly 30% of the population has malocclusion severe enough to benefit from orthodontic treatment. Treatment can take several months to a few years. Often it involves the use of braces and other appliances to slowly move the teeth and jaws around. On occasion, severe malocclusion requires jaw surgery. Treatment starts before a person reaches adulthood since bones can more easily move in children.

In the United States, about four million teens and get teeth-straightening treatment every year — and that doesn’t count the growing number of adults who benefit from orthodontics. Most orthodontic treatments can be done at any age. However, there’s one that is expressly for children whose mouths are still growing. Specifically, this method is interceptive orthodontics. In fact, it has been steadily gaining acceptance in recent years. If you haven’t heard about it, now is a good time to learn. This method has the ability to improve your child’s experience and outcome with orthodontic treatment.

intercepting dental issues

Intercepting Dental Issues Before Permanent Teeth Arrive

Interceptive orthodontics can begin as early as age 6 or 7. At this age, teeth are still developing, and the jaw is still growing. That means certain conditions, such as crowding, may be easier to address.

Because treatment starts earlier than it would via traditional orthodontic methods — as early as 6 to 10 years of age versus the traditional 10 to 12 years of age — most permanent teeth have not yet come in. Also, the interceptive treatment itself doesn’t necessarily involve braces. Instead, it can employ many other techniques. These range from special devices to behavioral modification. Traditional braces or other appliances follow.

The goal of interceptive orthodontics is to influence the growth and development of the jaws (or other oral structures) in a way that would be more difficult or impossible to do at an older age. It is effective only while the body is still growing — that’s why it begins early and isn’t for adults. However, when completed early, this method offers amazing results without longer or more invasive treatments.  As a result, kids get a healthier smile with better aesthetics and improved function.

What is an orthodontist

When Examining “What is an Orthodontist?” Also, Check Out “What An Orthodontist Does”

While orthodontists are known for straightening teeth, they also assist with painful and misaligned bites. In addition, they repair tooth movement caused by bad habits such as thumb sucking and even help with certain forms of sleep apnea.

Plus, if you’re wondering what an orthodontist can do for your smile, make an appointment to have an assessment. No referrals are necessary. Using their knowledge and expertise in facial irregularities and tooth movements, an orthodontist can help you to understand which of the available treatment options will be best for you or your child.

Between fixed and removable plates, metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual (invisible) braces, and clear aligners, there are treatments to suit every need and lifestyle. It is best to make an appointment with your orthodontist before deciding on the treatment option you would like because every case is different and may require a particular orthodontic care option.

what is the difference

What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Orthodontists and dentists share many similarities – they work together to help you improve your overall oral health – but they work in very different ways. Dentists cover a broad range of oral health issues. An orthodontist, on the other hand, is a dental specialist with a primary focus of straightening teeth and aligning jaws.

For patients to make informed decisions regarding their treatment, it’s important to be aware of a few key differences between orthodontists and dentists:


  • A general dentist is similar to your family medical doctor. They are highly skilled general practitioners who diagnose and treat problems and common diseases that affect your teeth, mouth, and gums.
  • Dentists complete a bachelor’s degree and a four-year dental degree.
  • They are experts in general dental care and maintenance for all ages. They also perform cosmetic dental procedures such as tooth whitening, porcelain veneers, and crowns.
  • Unlike orthodontists, dentists have no university training to fit braces or oversee other orthodontic treatments.
  • Most general dentists will refer patients and their own families requiring orthodontic care to a specialist, an orthodontist.


  • Orthodontists are registered, dental specialists. They have completed an additional three years of full-time university training in orthodontics, facial growth, and development, biology, and biomechanics.
  • Orthodontists are facial growth and dental development experts. They diagnose and treat crooked teeth, bad bites, and poorly aligned jaws.
  • Orthodontists are experts in all orthodontic care options and technologies for children, teens, and adults.

What is an orthodontist

What is an Orthodontist and How Do I Know When I Need to See One?

You should select an orthodontist for your child by the age of 7. When it comes to orthodontic care including early interceptive treatment, braces, and aligners, we recommend that patients see an orthodontist.

Patients should continue to see their dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning throughout their orthodontic care. Dentists play a very important role in maintaining good oral health.

Orthodontists and dentists will always work together to achieve optimal results for you and your children. Although a referral from a dentist is not required to see an orthodontist, it is a good idea to first see your family dentist for a check-up and regularly thereafter. You can request a referral to an orthodontist that your dentist has a working relationship with. Click here to set an appointment with Sky Ortho.