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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Where was the orthodontist educated and trained? See where Dr. Larson received her education and completed her residency. See where Dr. Fitzgerald received his education and completed his residency.
- How long has the orthodontist been in practice? See where Dr. Larson and Dr. Fitzgerald have practiced and for how long.
- What are some common procedures used? What are the typical costs for these common procedures including braces for teen, braces for kids, and braces for adults? See procedures and cost for teens, kids and adults.
- What are their office hours? What is the dentist’s office policy on missed appointments? Check out added information about us here or make an appointment online.
- Does the dentist take part in your dental health plan? What are the financial options for braces for kids? What about braces for teens? Read more about financial options.
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.