Woman Smiling With Perfect Teeth From Invisalign Treatment

Should I see an Orthodontist or a Dentist for Invisalign® Treatment?


Invisalign®, “the clear alternative to braces,” is the category leader in orthodontic aligners, an established company with hundreds of thousands of hours in specialized training, regulated guideline reviews, and trial and error overseen by professional orthodontic committees. It is the go-to solution for basic to complex orthodontic issues, with a strong network of board-certified, licensed, specialized orthodontists. 

In recent years, general dentists have also earned certifications to treat patients with Invisalign in their practices. This has created some confusion among patients. We often hear: “How do I know if I should seek out an orthodontist, or see my usual general dentist?” There are some key factors to consider surrounding the experience, expertise, and specialized training needed to provide optimal orthodontic care. 

How does Invisalign work?


Rather than the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces, Invisalign uses a series of customized, clear, medical-grade aligner trays to gently shift teeth into the desired position. You will wear each set of aligners for two weeks or as directed and then switch to the next set at home. Invisalign’s nearly invisible aligners mean that no one needs to know you are straightening your teeth. Invisalign is also removable, allowing you to eat whatever you like and brush and floss your teeth as usual. 

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?


A dentist is trained to treat general oral health. He or she has the skills and knowledge to prevent future dental issues and to restore damaged or decayed teeth. Dentists are resources for oral evaluations, x-rays, and treatments such as dental bridges, crowns, root canals, and fillings. This is their typical day-to-today focus. 

An orthodontist specializes in such dental irregularities as jaw misalignment, crooked teeth, and bite issues. Dr. Bigman will analyze the way your teeth come together and make recommendations for improving the form and functionality of your teeth and jaws. Notably, Dr. Bigman has experience with over 12,000+ orthodontic cases and was one of the early adopters of Invisalign! What does this mean for you, the patient? Decades of very specific, highly-specialized focus only on orthodontic cases. As a board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Bigman has his cases reviewed by an orthodontic board just to continue his practice and retain his active statuses and certifications. 

How does visiting Dr. Bigman set me up for optimal orthodontic care?


While Invisalign does certify orthodontists and general dentists to perform treatment, many cases are complex and require critical adjustments to the treatment plan that only an orthodontist is qualified to do. Especially in children, their constantly growing jaw and bone structure can create challenges during Invisalign treatment.  Dr. Bigman is incredibly well-versed in this area, having been trained as both a general dentist and orthodontist with over 30 years of experience. 

Dr. Bigman is especially qualified for orthodontic treatment having garnered decades of clinical experience, academic professorships, significant continuing education certifications, a Masters of Science Degree specifically in Orthodontics, and thousands of satisfied patients. Dr. Bigman will create a custom treatment plan for you – including the 3D printed aligners that come from Invisalign, but also the case-by-case assessments that need to be made for each patient. This can include pre-treatment prep, during treatment observation, and post-treatment assessment such as:

  • Assessing bone structure, gum health, bite alignment
  • Jaw manipulation requiring orthodontic techniques, not by general dentists
  • Button addition to Invisalign trays, tooth manipulation, assessment of malocclusion (tipping of teeth) 
  • Protecting teeth as they move and cause potential damage to roots (root resorption)

What kind of results can I expect?


Perhaps your case is very complicated and you’re worried you won’t have the straight, beautiful teeth you desire.

While each case differs, here are just a few examples of Dr. Bigman’s work.

Teeth Side By Side Before And After Girl Side By Side Before And After Bottom Teeth Side By Side Before And After

Ready to Get Started?


If you need braces or Invisalign® in the San Ramon Valley, contact Bigman Orthodontics today at (925) 735-1515 to schedule your free initial evaluation.