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What is An Orthodontist?

Hey, guys! Dr. Nate here. So even some of my friends don’t really know what I do so I thought I would explain it here. I want to answer the question “what is an orthodontist?” and hopefully give you some guidance on why I think (okay I’m a little biased) that you should only trust your tooth movements to an orthodontist.

Is an orthodontist a dentist?

YES. Every single orthodontist has to be a dentist before becoming an orthodontist. This doesn’t necessarily mean you want me doing your fillings or root canals but at one point in time that was what I did. If you came into our Frisco or Allen locations you would know that dental extractions, fillings, crowns etc. are a thing of the past for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved that stuff, especially deep cleanings. There is something so satisfying about cleaning teeth (any hygienist reading would understand!). But in order to be the best orthodontist possible I have to focus on Traditional Braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners.

What is a board certified orthodontist?

A Board certified orthodontist is an orthodontist who decided to take some extra exams and present their treatment results to fellow peers who scrutinize your work. This was a very rigorous process but well worth it because I learned so much from the senior orthodontist who looked over our cases. 

Not every orthodontist is board certified. In fact, only around 30% of orthodontists are board certified. 

What does an orthodontist do all day?

In general, we talk to patients all day and explain what’s going on. Yes sometimes I go home and my throat is sore from talking all day. There is a lot of explanations happening and making sure treatment is progressing as smoothly as possible.

My goal is to get the best results as efficiently as possible and nearly nothing gets me more excited then removing braces. Every time I remove someone’s braces they are just so grateful for 1. being out of braces and 2. getting that beautiful smile they have been dreaming of for so long.


All orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists. Trust your smile to someone who only works on metal or clear braces and Invisalign. This is all we do all day and we know how to give you that great smile.

Thank you for reading and as always, if you have any questions or comments let me know! I look forward to hearing from you! 

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