Should I Go to an Orthodontist or a Dentist for Invisalign?

We’ve scoured the internet—particularly a forum on Reddit—and discovered many patient stories about Invisalign treatment. One popular question got our attention: Should a patient go to a dentist or orthodontist for an Invisalign?

The Reddit respondents showed diverse experiences with both dentists and orthodontists. While some expressed contentment with dentists, several users expressed dissatisfaction, citing instances where dentists needed more knowledge, couldn't address questions adequately, or failed to deliver desired results.

So, we wanted to take a definitive stand on this matter since patients consider orthodontics one of the most overwhelming topics to discuss. 

Not only will it shed light on the confusion surrounding orthodontic consultation and Invisalign, but it will also help patients pick the best provider.


Does it matter what dentist you go to for Invisalign?

Choosing between a dentist and an orthodontist matters when getting Invisalign treatment, especially considering the dentist’s experience and training.

Invisalign is the same wherever you go, and the system or technique required to administer the treatment process never changes. However, the experience and outcome may vary from one provider to another. Again, one determining factor here is the dentist’s experience and background.

For example, although general dentists are as knowledgeable as orthodontists, some dental issues, like orthodontics and dentofacial orthodontics, require extra training beyond dental school. 

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontists don't just finish dental school; they also complete a particular program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. 

"This program provides special training focused exclusively on the movement of teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue–3,700 hours of training. This results in a deeper understanding of growth and development (dentofacial orthopedics)."

-American Association of Orthodontists

Concerning orthodontics, orthodontists typically don’t go beyond their practice or dental specialty, which gives them an edge over general dentists because they focus on what they do best. Just as a general doctor isn’t a surgeon, a general dentist isn’t an orthodontist. 

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Is there a downside to choosing a dentist for Invisalign?

To say there's a downside to choosing a dentist for an Invisalign is speaking negatively towards other dental experts. Again, general dentists are still knowledgeable and skilled professionals who might do as well as orthodontists regarding Invisalign. 

In a word, there’s no downside in getting your Invisalign treatment from a general dentist. Nevertheless, you get the upper hand when you choose an orthodontist simply because you're allowing someone with more hands-on experience and concentrated expertise to handle the job. 

That said, why do some patients still opt for a general dentist?

Based on our recent findings, the cost and the patient’s location become deciding factors when choosing between a dentist and an orthodontist. Some say the absence of an orthodontist that offers Invisalign in their area forces them to go to a general dentist.


And, since the competition for Invisalign patients is getting tight among orthodontists, some dentists take this as an opportunity to incentivize patients by lowering the treatment cost. 

Similarly, some stress the importance of personal comfort, trust, and a positive patient-provider relationship in their decision-making process, suggesting that individual preferences play a crucial role in selecting an Invisalign provider. 


Below are snippets of information from our research. These findings underscore users' varied experiences and considerations when choosing between dentists and orthodontists for Invisalign treatment. 

Switching to Orthodontists

Users who switched from dentists to orthodontists report significantly improved experiences. Orthodontists are praised for their expertise, comprehensive understanding of tooth movement, and specialized knowledge in Invisalign treatment.

Financial Considerations

Switching providers, particularly from a dentist to an orthodontist, often incur additional costs. However, users emphasize investing in proper treatment for long-term satisfaction and peace of mind.

Importance of Consultations

Recommendations emphasize the importance of seeking multiple consultations, especially from orthodontists. Users suggest shopping, attending free consultations, and gathering opinions before committing to a provider.

Trust in Provider's Experience

A recurring theme is trusting the provider's experience and training. Users stress the significance of choosing a practitioner with proven success, extensive experience, and a strong understanding of orthodontics.

Influence of Invisalign Rankings

Some users mention checking Invisalign rankings on the official website to gauge a provider's experience. However, there needs to be more discussion about the accuracy of these rankings and the need for individualized assessments.

Tips when choosing an orthodontist for Invisalign

By now, you're considering getting an Invisalign treatment from an orthodontist in Culver City. It's a big city, and the list of Invisalign providers can go on as you dig from Google's search results. Remember that while Invisalign helps straighten teeth, the treatment’s success lies in your orthodontist’s hands. 

Therefore, picking the right orthodontist helps you make the most out of your investment. So, before you hit the appointment button, here are a few things you must do before choosing an orthodontist in Culver City for your Invisalign.

Check patient reviews and recommendations

Although patient reviews on search engines can be relative sometimes, they can be a good source of reliable information because they reflect patients' firsthand experiences. Patient reviews are almost everywhere—from local directories such as Yellow Pages and Yelp to well-known sites such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

To find relevant and trustworthy recommendations spot on, you can look for the following details:

  • Spammy reviews - Make sure they are real human beings and not bots. Avoid reviews that are anonymous, sketchy, or sound too good or bad to be true.
  • Recency - Look for reviews that are recent and consistent. Be cautious if the reviews are ancient, too scarce, or flooding in suddenly—they could be manipulated.
  • Read between the lines: Dive into the reviews and pay attention to the nitty-gritty. Specifics matter, so look for feedback that matches the details you wanted to read, such as the length of the procedure, process, cost or insurance coverage, etc.
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Take advantage of free consultations

Take advantage of the free consultation that most orthodontists like us offer and gather as much information as you need before sitting down on the dental chair. Choose an Invisalign provider who can seamlessly navigate you through the whole process. Be bold and ask about treatment alternatives, payment options, or possible required procedures. 

Find in-network Invisalign providers

Invisalign is considered a cosmetic procedure and may not always be covered by your insurance plan. However, it's still important to see whether your insurance provider can take care of a portion of your treatment cost. Some plans may cover a percentage (20- 25%) of your treatment, which still is a considerable discount for an orthodontic treatment ranging from $3500 to $9000. Contact your insurance company to help you find the nearest in-network orthodontist.

Choose United Dental Care for Your Invisalign

We understand how much of a struggle it is to find the best solution for your orthodontic needs. Stay energized, though, of finding ways to address your dental needs.

Amidst your confusion, hesitance, and doubt, we’re here to offer expert guidance. Orthodontic treatment is a lifetime investment; what you choose today may shape your oral health's future. Book a free consultation now, and together, we'll create a treatment plan that doesn't only fit your budget but also secures a lifelong healthy smile. 

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