We often hear the question, why should I visit an orthodontist if my general dentist can do the same work for me at a lower cost? This blog post explains why it is better to have orthodontic treatment undertaken by a specialist orthodontist.

Firstly, what is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry which specializes in the treatment of teeth and jaw alignment. The technical term for these problems is malocclusion (literally meaning “bad bite”).

These alignment problems are treated with the use of corrective appliances, such as braces. With the primary aim being to bring the teeth and jaws into correct alignment.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who is a registered specialist in orthodontics. An orthodontist is the most qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat any problems you might have with the alignment of your teeth and jaws.

In order to be an Orthodontist in Ireland you must:

  • Complete a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry, which is a 5-year full-time University course.
  • Completed a further 3 years’ full-time training on a specialist training programme that is recognised by the Dental Council
  • Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by the Irish Dental Council. You can check the register here

Orthodontics is about what you cannot see. Certainly, we know braces will straighten your teeth and improve your smile, but, only an orthodontist has the education and training to make you look great and also, to diagnose and treat problems that aren’t visible and may cause discomfort and health problems further down the line.

A dentist, in comparison, would not be as well-versed, experienced or trained in the correction of dental and facial irregularities. Only orthodontists are specialists when it comes to moving teeth, diagnosing jaw development issues and in making sure the teeth stay in the desired position.


Dr Ronan Perry, Specialist Orthodontist

To book a consultation with our specialist orthodontist, Dr Ronan Perry, click here.