The conclusion of a research study that appeared in Quintessence International Dental Journal claims that, "Orthodontic treatment improves general health. Treatment performed by a certified orthodontist leads to better treatment results and lower remaining treatment need compared with that performed by a general dental practitioner" (Quintessence Int. 2008: 39; 73-79).
Orthodontists can be thought of as architects of the mouth, which not only adjust the teeth, but also manipulate the jaw, cheeks, joints, sinuses and many bones and vessels on the face. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the movement of teeth, as well as the movement of bones. According to the American Dental Association, for a dentist to become an orthodontist, he or she must engage in two extra years of study to obtain a Certificate in the Specialty of Orthodontics through an American Dental Association accredited graduate program.
Align Technologies has changed the field of orthodontics by certifying general dentists in a weekend course on how to order Invisalign. Align Technologies' Invisalign Provider Certification does not mean the dental provider understands or is trained in the treatment of dental malocclusions (imperfect positioning of teeth). In other words, although general dentists offer Invisalign, using the Invisalign tool does not make a general dentist an orthodontist. In choosing an Invisalign provider who is a general dentist instead of an Invisalign orthodontist, the uninformed patient may inadvertently trust the orthodontic tool over orthodontic experience. The informed patient trusts the blending of both.
For further clarification as to why choosing a certified orthodontist makes sense, see New Technology.