Orthodontics by an Orthodontist

All Orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are Orthodontists. When it comes to having your teeth straightened, you’ll want to know the difference.

Orthodontic solutions are best provided by certified orthodontists. This is because orthodontists have the highest level of training, experience and education to diagnose, treat and to help prevent and correct problems with the alignment of your teeth and jaws, and the growth of your face.


Dr. Pat is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo and completed dental school at the University at Buffalo. Both he and Dr. Mark attended residencies at the prestigious Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, NY, to complete their Specialty Training in Orthodontics, and are Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontists (ABO). Less than 25 percent of orthodontists achieve this goal. 

Some general dental offices offer Invisalign or braces. However, it’s important to understand, general dentists are not orthodontists. To be an orthodontist, after graduating from dental school, you attend a 2-3 year full-time accredited residency that is recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). An orthodontist graduates with 4000 to 6000 hours of specialized training.

Weekend courses (7-14 hours) that general dentists attend teach basic skills to treat teeth and how to bill insurance companies with the proper codes.  Many even outsource the diagnosis and treatment plans to services that coach them and many allow their assistants to place the braces and do the adjustments.  Why trust your care to an individual who practices this specialty part-time, along with all their other general dental treatments, with minimal orthodontic education?  Orthodontists do one thing… and do it well… we straighten teeth to ensure optimal form and function.  Our job is to make it look easy, yet it is very difficult even for the best of the best.

Treatment Timing

One of the most important differences that an orthodontist provides is the knowledge of when to initiate treatment. Growth and development visits (observation visits) are the main group of patients an orthodontist sees. Orthodontists help guide Mother Nature’s wayward habits and will start treatment at just the right time to maximize treatment outcomes in the shortest window of time… not just start treatment because you walked through the door.

When choosing the best time to start treatment and which braces are right for you, Orthodontists are also choosing a treatment plan that is custom tailored for you the patient. They take into account things that are unique about you, so there is no general, catch-all – cookie cutter approach similar to what is taught to the general dental field. An orthodontist is specially trained to know these differences and will provide you that custom plan.


So if you are given a recommendation for orthodontic treatment by your general dentist, give yourself the benefit of a second opinion by an orthodontist… any orthodontist. We encourage our patients to seek additional opinions too… we want our patients to be served by the orthodontist that they believe will give them the best treatment and the best experience that they deserve!


Contact Information

Hatala Orthodontics, PC
165 Riverside Drive,
Johnson City, NY 13790
Phone: 607-644-9100
Email: hatalaortho@stny.rr.com

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.