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Do You Need an Orthodontist to Straighten Teeth?

Do You Really Need a Dentist or Orthodontist to Straighten Your Teeth?

You have probably seen the advertisements for straightening your teeth without the added cost and investment of time to  have your Dentist or Orthodontist do this for you.  You may have even had a consult with your Dentist because you are concerned about the alignment of your teeth.  We think that, YES, you really do need a Dentist or Orthodontist to straighten your teeth!  Our office will be happy to see you and evaluate if tooth straightening is a good treatment option for you!

To straighten your teeth correctly and safely, you need to see a Dentist  or Orthodontist! 

Don’t trust your teeth to a mail order business!

If your General Dentist does orthodontic treatment or even limited orthodontic treatment (the straightening of your teeth) you may have gotten a fee for this procedure.  Expensive, right?  Or, your dentist may not straighten teeth and may have referred you to an Orthodontist who specializes in the straightening of teeth.  Maybe, you even went for a consult appointment with the Orthodontist only to find out that straightening your teeth would take a lot of time and be really expensive.

To straighten your teeth correctly and safely, you need to see a Dentist  or Orthodontist!  Don’t trust your teeth to a mail order business!

Enter companies that offer to send you the supplies to take impressions of your own teeth and then you return the impressions and information to them.  They offer to send you a series of trays that will move your teeth into better alignment.  The pictures in their brochures look dramatic!  The results far less expensive than seeing your dentist or a specialist.  And it looks so easy!  Eliminate the middle man!  Please allow me to offer a few words of warning about completing this unsupervised treatment.


First of all, let me ask you these questions:

  1. Do you have good, healthy bone around the teeth being moved?
  2. Is there room in your bite to allow the movement desired?
  3. Will your jaw joints and your bite be comfortable after the movement is complete?
  4. Will your lips and mouth be able to adapt to the new position of the teeth so that your speech, chewing and swallowing is not compromised?
  5. Are you trying to move teeth in the presence of gum disease or periodontal disease?
  6. Do you understand the consequences of teeth being moved into a different position than they have adapted to?


Here is some basic information for you about tooth movement with braces or aligners.

  • How do teeth move and is this safe?
    • The only way for teeth to move is to move through the bone and tissue in your jaw. To create space for this movement, either the bone resorbs, or the tooth root resorbs!  When the optimal forces are applied to a tooth, the bone will resorb allowing the tooth to move, the tooth root will not resorb, and new bone will form behind the tooth to fill in the space where the tooth used to be.
    • Without a Dentist or Orthodontist monitoring the movement of your teeth your bite could be severely affected and it may be uncomfortable to chew.
    • Moving teeth through bone is difficult and requires close supervision by someone who understands the physiology of your teeth, your mouth, your jaw joints and your bite!
    • Adjustment of the teeth is often necessary for an ideal result.
    • If you have periodontal disease and/or gum disease, this type of treatment could be dangerous for you.
    • If your teeth move too quickly, or in the wrong direction they may become loose, the roots of the teeth could resorb making your teeth weak, you could actually lose teeth!


  • How are impressions done at your home and how does this compare to impressions done in a dental office
    • Precise treatment involves very accurate impressions of your teeth and gums. This is very difficult to accomplish with a home kit!
    • Using less than precise impressions or models of your teeth could ruin the result you were hoping for.

Clear aligners are custom fabricated for your teeth from high quality impressions made in a dental office and the treatment is monitored throughout the tooth movement to be safe and comfortable!

Moving teeth into an ideal position through bone and gums is difficult and should be done with care and with the advice, skill, and knowledge of a Dentist or Orthodontist.  In our office, we do limited orthodontic treatment to improve the alignment of front teeth or to make restorative treatment more conservative and with a better result.  We have been doing this type of treatment for over 15 years.  We currently offer tooth straightening with clear aligners and/or with removable appliances.  You must wear the appliance or aligners for at least 20 hours per day for the treatment to be affective.

It takes training and care to safely align teeth! Teeth prior to straightening in the office of Dr. Julie Gillis.

It takes training and care to safely align teeth! Teeth after straightening in the office of Dr. Julie Gillis.

We are strongly against moving your teeth without the guidance of a skilled professional who is completely aware of your existing dental health and the health of the tissues., gums, and bone around the teeth.  We love helping our patients feel better about their teeth and their smile! If you would like more information on this or any other dental treatment, please contact our office at (970) 242-3635 for more information.  You can also see some of our before and after treatment results on our website at www.juliegillisdds.com or on our Facebook site at Julie  Gillis DDS PC.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Yours for better dental health,


Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles