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A 34-year-old member asked:

a well known dentist specialised in cosmetic dentistry vs an orthodontist specialist. who will be better for invisalign? both r elite premium provider

40 doctor answers73 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Experience!: Like much else in life, experience cannot be gained from reading/dreaming about it. So, one doc who has lots of school training, but just got out will not have as much experience doing the procedure vs one who did not have as much school but has been doing it for eons and has good results in the community--that is the one to pick. Talk to the people in your community! good luck.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
There is much to be said for experience, but you only see what you know. The 2,000+ hour University Orthodontic Programs proved the new graduate with much more orthodontic experience than the generalist who dabbles part time in "braces" treatment. I've seen good Rx done by generalists, but not often. And Orthodontists do it in less time, with less problems, and an overall better result.
Dec 8, 2012
Dr. Robert Mokbel
Dentistry 42 years experience
In this case both are equally qualified for Invisalign, but a trained orthodontist can see different issues that can be treated more efficiently and predictably with traditional Ortho. Experience is useless without getting all the knowledge available from every source and keeping an open mind to all the possibilities.
Aug 18, 2014
Dr. David Duguid
Dentistry 29 years experience
Minor differences: It really depends on what your goals as a patient are and the result that you want. As a cosmetic dentist myself, I am very attentive to smile design as well as function. Your final result will most likely be different with the position of your upper front teeth and the presentation of your smile line. I would get a consultation with each and ask them what their goals and expectations are for you.
Dr. Jennifer Holtzman
Dentistry 39 years experience
Hard to know!: Invisalign is a technique best for minor movements for teeth- and can be provided by both orthodontists and general dentists. However, orthodontists are well trained in how to move teeth, more than just minor amounts, in order to have not only a good looking result, but one that results in a healthy teeth and a good bite. Btw, cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Not really so hard to know: an analogy: a dermatologist is an MD, with full honors and rights afforded to a medical practitioner. They have a good understanding of the anatomy and may be able to remove an appendix if required, but I would certainly want a general surgeon, who removes appendices routinely to remove mine. The 2 or 3 years of post-doctoral training by an orthodontist makes them far more suited to managing tooth movement. With Invisalign, experience is very important, but so much of the supervision is given up to a lab and appliance fabrication in Costa Rica by "technicians". Arbitrary labels such as "elite" provider are given to clinicians who have "sold" a certain amount of Invisalign cases, it does not reference in any way at all the results of the treatment. There is no elite designation in orthodontics, but there is a peer reviewed progression to certification based on diagnosis and treatment planning and of course the quality of the therapeutic results. See an orthodontist!
Feb 22, 2013
Dr. Gary Lederman
Dentistry 40 years experience
Your choice: As elite providers, both are experienced. I would ask to see before and after photos of conditions and treatment similar to yours. Don't rule out conventional orthodontics.
Dr. Maurice Lindly
Dentistry 38 years experience
Either.: If your maloccusion is treatable with invisalign either will do a fine job as the progressive splints are computer generated. However invisalign is only used for minor tooth movement and you may be better off having conventional orthodontics if you have a significant malocclusion.
Dr. Thomas Davis
Dentistry 36 years experience
Orthodontist: It would be good to get a consultation with a reputable orthodontist to diagnose your case properly. With the advanced training, they can sometimes foresee problems ahead of time and incorporate this into your treatment plan. Stick with someone who does many of these cases everyday.
Dr. Greg Rubin
Dr. Greg Rubin commented
Dentistry 37 years experience
orthodontist- without a doubt
Aug 12, 2012
Dr. Abel Loredo
Dentistry 37 years experience
Who is best: If they are both elite premium providers with plenty of experience, any of them will do. Experience is most important!
Dr. Steven Alper
Dentistry 21 years experience
Cant Say: But i can tell you not to give much regard to the premium provider listing on invisalign's website. An orthodontist that has many associates could be an elite premium provider and only actually treat 1 case a year. It only is an indication of how many cases are submitted from the practice, not the doctor.
Dr. Ronald Achong
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 18 years experience
Depends: I have seen some great orthodontist and cosmetic dentist work. Also have seen some subpar work from orthodontist and cosmetic dentist with respect to invisalign. One great way to decide is to speak to previous patients who were treated with invisalign by those doctors, ask for before and after pictures and find out where the local dentist children go to for orthodontic work.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
What you say is true, but the average result of malocclusion correction done by orthodontists is better than the average result done by generalists. Who do you want to do your brain surgery, a trained Neurosurgeon or a GP who picks up a scalpel part time?
Dec 8, 2012
Dr. Gabriel Malouf
Specializes in Dentistry
Also consider the relative complexity of the case. If it's not brain surgery, you may have more options. Make sure you are comfortable with any provider before you go ahead ;-)
Feb 6, 2013
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
I'm unsure of your stance here. Some GP's can remove teeth very nicely and may get very acceptable results in surgery, would you think they might be out of their depths on a Le Fort I osteotomy? Look, let's just say it. If trained specifically for a specialty let's stop making statements based on the exceptions. I run rings around a GP doing ortho. You run rings around a DDS/DMD doing surgery. . It is OK to be a GP, can I find an ortho case treated by a GP that is better than an ortho? sure, same as I can see a GP on occasion performing exodontia with a better result than a M-F surgeon. Consistency of results matters. Anecdotal evidence will not suffice. Generally if trained for years at something GENERALLY superior results will be expected.
May 16, 2013
Dr. Donald Rollofson
Dentistry 45 years experience
An orthodontist: Both may be fantastic with invisalign, but at the end of treatment it is not unusual to have a compromise that would best be remedied with a short course of braces, of which the orthodontist is most familiar.
Dr. K Bigelow
Dentistry 36 years experience
Orthodontist: The orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, and he will be best for getting the best results if you are only looking for straighter teeth. The cosmetic dentist could actually give you more options than just invisalign. It is possible in some cases to straighten teeth with veneers, producing results in as little as two weeks without the use of invisalign.
Dr. Marvin Pantangco
Dentistry 21 years experience
Depends on case: A general dentist who is picky and has a lot of invisalign experience can be the better option. An orthodontics who has used invisalign in the past knows its strength and weaknesses. And can finish off the case with regular brackets if needed.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Specialty: Is the cosmetic dentistry "specialist" trained prosthodontic specialist, or a family dentist who does restorations competently? You would probably be better served in the office of an orthodontic specialist for orthodontic care.
Dr. Bryan Siegelman
Periodontics 39 years experience
Orthodontist: All things being equal the orthodontis has more training in straightening teeth.
Dr. Gabriel Malouf
Specializes in Dentistry
Meet them both.: You may find that (depending on what exactly needs to be done) that you have options. Both these providers are probably well advertised and confident. Know that neither advertising nor ego make a good provider, and decide after interviewing them & other dental personnel in the area. Also if you want the best treatment, consider other options: invisalign might not get you there.
Dr. Robert Tupac
Specializes in Prosthodontics
Orthodontist: Moving teeth, even with invisalign, is best accomplished by a specialist in tooth movement--an orthodontist.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Experience: There are orthodontists who are not very good at invisalign, but on the whole they have much greater understanding of tooth movements. Did you know that you can become "certified" to treat with invisalign by taking a weekend course! absurd. Stay with someone who has trained for years to understand the complexities of tooth movement: an orthodontist!
Dr. S. jay Bowman
Orthodontics 36 years experience
Orthodontist: Orthodontics is a dental specialty that requires at least 2-3 years of additional training in an accredited residency program. When limiting practice to only orthodontics, the orthodontist has expertise and experience in multiple techniques, not just invisalign. Elite is simply a category based on the number of cases submitted within a year - nothing more.
Dr. Mark Venincasa
Cosmetic Dentistry 35 years experience
It depends: I do not know if we can ever know for sure who is better. I would search online reviews for specific patients who received invisalign from each one. In general an orthodontist seems like a better option. Specifically for you, it does depend.
Dr. April Ziegele
Cosmetic Dentistry 24 years experience
Equal: They will both do a great job. Pick whomever you're most comfortable with because you'll see them a lot!
Dr. Sam Kadan
Dr. Sam Kadan commented
Orthodontics 26 years experience
I think an orthodontist is much better equipped to handle issues relating to problems during the course of treatment than a cosmetic dentist
Mar 12, 2013
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
I agree with Dr. Kadan
Mar 16, 2013
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
your kidding, right? Would you have an interist do heart surgery? Why would you have a dentist do orthodontics? An orthodontist has had 3 ADDITIONAL YEARS OF TRAINING SPEICIFCALLY TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES. Orthodontists should not do cosmetic dentistry-- cosmetic dentists should not do orthodontics.
Mar 28, 2013
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
Orthodontist: Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment. As such, i would choose the doctor who has 3 additional years of training and works full-time, all the time, on straightening teeth-- not something the cosmetic dentist does.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Dangerous to answer: I've read all the answers & here is my 2 cents: better to render treatment?: the dentist with the most training, the most experience, the most integrity & with the patient's best interests at heart. "elite provider" just does more cases but doesn't make him bad. Orthodontists have more training but does not guarantee quality. Invisalign has limitations. Everything being =, i would go to ortho!
Dr. Kyle Shank
Dentistry 13 years experience
I would do Ortho: I know first-hand the training that a dentist gets in ortho compared to an orthodontist (i'm a dentist, my wife is an orthodontist). There's a lot of biomechanics that you really need a full residency program to get. An orthodontist typically has better invisalign training also. My wife has done complex extraction cases that others said couldn't be done w/ invisalign thanks to her training!
Dr. Manuel Sousa
Orthodontics 46 years experience
The orthodontist: The orthodontist is highly trained and skilled to straighten teeth so that they not only look good but also function well.
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Orthodontics 44 years experience
Not enough info: Invisalign awards titles such as "elite provider" based on volume of business they give to invisalign, not quality of results. Before you invest your money you need to do more research. Ask your family dentist and doctor who they would go to.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
like asking "should I have a general internist or a heart surgeon do my heart surgery". Let's see, the Orthodontist has had 3 years of additional training specifically in this field. Go to your orthodontist.
Jun 24, 2013
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
Dentistry 43 years experience
Interview Both: Probably both are competent in accomplishing your treatment goals. I would suggest interviewing both to see who makes you feel most at ease. You will be seeing your invisalign dentist every month for a while, so personality comfort is important. I'd also ask to see both of their before and after case photos to evaluate the results of their treatment. That should help in your decision.
Dr. Kevin Owoc
Prosthodontics 19 years experience
Orthodontist: Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. Moving teeth is a specialty of orthodontists. This is not to say that a general dentist couldn't do this and meet your expectations. However, there are reasons orthodontists spend more time and training in performing tooth movement. This experience will generally produce a more predictable and esthetic result. Keep smiling !
Dr. Robert Rosenberg
Orthodontics 46 years experience
Orthodontist: A board certified orthodontist has more training specifically as a 'tooth mover' and specializes in only orthodontics, not the whole gambit of dentistry, as a general dentist does.
Dr. Steven Koos
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 21 years experience
Top1% Elite Provider: Best to find the highest designation invisalign assigns - "elite top !%", these designations are given to clinicians who are in the top 1% of the nation with the number of cases they have successfully completed and with their level of expertise with the product. Even if this clinician is a dentist, which several are, that is who i would go to if i was sticking to the invisalign product.
Dr. Steven Corben
Cosmetic Dentistry 40 years experience
Experience: It really depends on your particular situation and expectations; and the dentists' experience. Frequently, both dentists can work together to help you.
Dr. Howard Schneider
Pediatric Dentistry 34 years experience
Orthodontist: While both doctors may have the same training from the company that makes invisalign, the orthodontist has specialty training in growth and development, and tooth movement that the cosmetic dentist does not have. This gives the orthodontist an overall advantage when it comes to moving teeth. Most cosmetic dentists i know work with an orthodontist rather then do the invisalign themselves.
Dr. Jerry Hu
Dr. Jerry Huanswered
Cosmetic Dentistry 23 years experience
Check with Invisalig: Aligntech has different levels where dental professionals are trained, you may want to check with them. An orthodontist is a specialist, where as a cosmetic dentist is not a specialist. But, with that said, you should check with invisalign company, the costs, and your own comfort-relationship to the provider for your final decision.
Dr. Joel Doyon
Cosmetic Dentistry 36 years experience
Be comfortable: Both need to be certified Invisalign providers. Talk to both of them, see what each treatment options are, and if they are similar, have treatment with the doctor you feel most comfortable with, because you will be seeing that doctor quite regularly for a while. If the treatments are different, see a third dentist.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Orthodontist has years more training and does nothing but tooth alignment.
Jun 7, 2014
Dr. William Jakavick
Cosmetic Dentistry 37 years experience
Invisalign: Invisalign involves special training that is available to all dentists. However, I would defer to the orthodontic specialist. Not all cases are easily handled without advanced orthodontic training and many cannot be completed with Invisalign. Being a cosmetic specialist does not make one an Invisalign expert.
Dr. Robert Mokbel
Dentistry 42 years experience
Invisalign is just that it does not make the practitioner an orthodontist, but an orthodontist trained in Invisalign can do both.
Aug 18, 2014
Dr. Randall Shaw
Orthodontics 37 years experience
Use a Specialist!: If you have the opportunity to be treated by a specialist you will benefit from the extra 2-3 years of dedicated training they have received. Although a general dentist can legally provide the treatment, an orthodontist is much more familiar with detecting minor deviations from the expected treatment to help ensure that you get the results you expect
Dr. Edison Han
Dentistry 20 years experience
I would go to ortho: Elite premium provider does not mean anything. Invisalign technology has gotten better but there are still some limitations. Talk to dentist who can do both invisalign and straight wire orthodontics.
Dr. Robert Mokbel
Dentistry 42 years experience
Orthodontist: Orthodontics have more training in the traditional Ortho field and in Invisalign as well, they have basically more training, since these 2 providers are both elite, I will go,with the orthodontist. If something arises during the treatment and additional alternative treatment may be needed, the orthodontist will have much more tricks in his bag.
Dr. Kevin Nail
Dentistry 11 years experience
Cosmetic dentistry: Either one will be fine, as long as your particular situation is good for an invisalign case. Since both providers do a lot of invisalign, they should have expertise in knowing if you are a good invisalign candidate. Invisalign doesn't take much skill on the providers side. The provider takes the initial impression of your teeth and the invisalign company pretty much does the rest of the planning
Dr. Ronald Konig
Specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic dentistry: There is no ADA recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry and orthodontists are not cosmetic dentist. Talk to both and discuss your needs and ask to see photos, close up photos of their work. Not just one photo. If you like what you see discuss their recommendations for your situation. Also elite premium provider is not an indication of cosmetic skills or knowledge in cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Daniel Wolter
Dentistry 30 years experience
Both Can Be Good: Either can be excellent at Invisalign. Orthodontists have more "formal" university training in straightening teeth. But, perhaps, a cosmetic dentist uses this technique more than a specific orthodontist. Some orthodontists rarely/never use Invisalign. Some cosmetic dentists use it a lot. Experience and confidence count just as much as previous training, and that can be any type of dentist.

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Last updated Jun 11, 2017

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