How is Orthodontic Treatment Different Than My Dentist?


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Dear Dr. Barakat,

My Dentist recommended that I see an Orthodontist, but I see ads for perfect teeth in only one or two visits to the Dentist. How is orthodontic treatment different?


Dear Concerned Parent,

That’s an excellent question; I often have patients ask me the same. There are several specialties in the field of dentistry. Orthodontics is the specialty that addresses tooth movement and jaw alignment.

Orthodontic treatment works gradually. What is advertised as a couple of visits to the Dentist may be cosmetic procedures, such as veneers or crowns. These cosmetic procedures can involve significant shaving down of the enamel and need to be replaced over time.

On the other hand, orthodontic treatment works on the structure and foundation, improving the bite and jaw relationship. Jaw pain, uneven and excessive tooth wear, as well as cavities, and gum disease, are some of the reasons that orthodontic treatment is superior to cosmetic dental procedures alone. It is important to keep in mind that cosmetic dental procedures, such as crowns and veneers, are sometimes indicated in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. This is best determined after a consultation with an Orthodontist.

As an Orthodontic specialist, I can determine if a multi-disciplinary approach is indicated to achieve the patient’s functional and aesthetic goals, and if braces or Invisalign will work best.

Follow your Dentist’s advice for the orthodontic consultation; you deserve the best!


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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