What is an Orthodontist?

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Specializing in Healthy Smiles

An orthodontist like Dr. Clay VanderWall is a dental specialist who is an expert in diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists have the training and skill to use appliances, such as braces, Invisalign® and 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners, to straighten the teeth and create an optimal bite. The outcome is a more beautiful, healthy smile that functions at its best.

What Type of Training Does an Orthodontist Have?

After earning their bachelor’s degree at a college or university, an orthodontist then goes to dental school for four years to obtain their doctorate degree. Following dental school, they receive two to three more years of speciality training in an orthodontic residency program to become a certified specialist in orthodontics. It’s during their residency that orthodontists learn the intricacies of safely and effectively aligning the teeth and jaws.

What Does it Mean to be Board Certified?

Dr. VanderWall took the extra, voluntary step of becoming board certified, which entailed completing a rigorous two-step process. First, he passed a thorough written exam. Then, he successfully presented his treated cases to a panel of expert examiners. Being a board-certified orthodontist, referred to as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, shows that Dr. VanderWall went through the process of being examined by his fellow peers and that he was able to demonstrate his ability to provide the highest level of patient care. Since the certification must be renewed every 10 years, it also highlights his commitment to continued clinical excellence.

Do I Have to See an Orthodontist?

If you’re considering straightening your teeth with braces or clear aligners, it’s important to visit a certified specialist in orthodontics for treatment. Orthodontists have the knowledge, speciality training and expertise to accurately diagnose malocclusions (improper bites) and develop personalized treatment plans to fix the problem.

Additionally, orthodontics is more complex than just putting on braces or handing a patient aligners. Treatment involves in-depth planning since it leads to permanent changes in your dental and facial anatomy. A specialist like Dr. VanderWall can strike the perfect balance between aesthetics and function for amazing results that last a lifetime. To find out more about how an orthodontist can bring out the best in your smile, schedule a complimentary consultation at our Raleigh, Durham and Cary orthodontic practice today!

Your Smile Transformation Starts Here!

Find out how we can give you a healthy, confident smile with braces or clear aligners in Durham, Raleigh or Cary, NC.

Book A free consultation

Your Smile Transformation Starts Here!

Find out how we can give you a healthy, confident smile with braces or clear aligners in Durham, Raleigh or Cary, NC.

Book A free consultation