Aligners: Orthodontist or Dentist?

“Is there a difference between my orthodontist and my dentist straightening my teeth with Aligners? Isn’t it the same thing?”

We commonly get questions like this in our office from new patients and from parents.

Imagine a skilled violinist playing a beautiful song. He’s spent thousands of hours practicing and fine tuning his craft, and he makes beautiful songs with the strings of his instrument. Now imagine someone else, without the years of practice, experience, and training picking up that same violin. How do you think it will sound? But aren’t they the same thing?

Or imagine an airline pilot who has been to a top flight school and flies planes all day every day. Now imagine someone who took some flight classes on a weekend and flies a plane once a month or so. Which pilot would you trust to get you safely to your destination with any unexpected turbulence along the way?

Same Tool, Different Results

Aligners is a wonderful tool in the hands of someone who knows how to use it well, but in the hands of someone untrained or inexperienced, you may not get the results you’re looking for. There is a difference between a dentist taking a weekend course at a Holiday Inn and someone with 2-3 years of specialized training and education in Orthodontics. While both can offer you Aligners, orthodontists understand the biomechanics of tooth movement better than any other type of dentist. What this means is that we know how to apply the right forces to the right teeth at the right time to give you the smile you’re looking for.

How does Aligners work?

If you’re interested in Aligners, here’s how the process works at Hughes Orthodontics.

  1. We meet face to face at your consultation and make sure that Aligners is the right tool to accomplish your goals. Dr. Justin has completed the Aligners Master’s Program, a level of expertise that only 1% of all Aligners doctors have achieved, so he’s very comfortable treating a variety of cases with Aligners.
  2. We scan your teeth. No more goopy impressions! This means that the process is faster, your trays fit better, and you have a better experience.
  3. We customize your treatment through the ClinCheck software – this is how we communicate with Aligners and tailor your treatment to your unique situation. Many Aligners providers will approve whatever the software gives them, but we spend time adjusting each tooth, its final position, and how it moves in sequence so that we can give you the best result in the least amount of time.
  4. You wear your trays and enjoy your smile throughout the process!

If you have other questions about Aligners, feel free to come see us or email Dr. Justin at

Posted in