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Orthodontic treatment can be provided by any licenced dentist.
Although orthodontic treatment can be provided by a dentist, only Orthodontists are certified dentists that have additional training in an accredited Orthodontic Specialty Program. These programs are a minimum of 2 to 3 years of intensive training on comprehensive analysis of the individual’s whole face and facial features, and their relationship to healthy teeth and jaws. This allows Orthodontists to provide detailed diagnosis and treatment planning of crowded teeth, bad bites, and various jaw-size and functional discrepancies. To be officially recognized as an Orthodontist in Canada, one must have successfully challenged the Royal College of Dentists of Canada Orthodontic Specialty Examination.
Due to the complex nature of orthodontics, while Family (or General) Dentists are permitted to perform orthodontic procedures, they often limit the treatment that they provide to cases of minor teeth alignment and/or minor spacing, if providing any orthodontic treatment at all. This is similar to other dental specialties such as Prosthodontics (crown and bridge) or Endodontics (root canals) which General Dentists can provide treatment for these areas up to the limit of what they feel their non-specialized competence allows. For this reason, most General Dentists refer orthodontic treatment to Orthodontists, as Orthodontists are the recognized specialists that utilize their knowledge of growth and development to solve functional bite problems through alignment of the teeth and jaws. Pediatric dentists (another dental specialty) may sometimes provide early interceptive orthodontic treatment to some degree, mostly to maintain space in preparation for future comprehensive orthodontic care.
You trust your heart to your Cardiologist, and your skin to your Dermatologist so it makes sense to trust your face and your smile to your Orthodontist; they are the tooth moving & facial experts, and that's all they do all day & every day!