Do I Need a Referral From My General Dentist to See An Orthodontist?

Do I Need a Referral From My General Dentist to See An Orthodontist?

Dec 01, 2022

Most people usually have a general dentist who helps them care for their teeth. As such, an entire family can rely on the services of their general dentist. However, it can be confusing for some parents who wish to get their kids orthodontic treatment, especially when their dentist isn’t specialized in orthodontic dentistry.

Therefore, it raises the question, “Do you need a referral to visit an orthodontist near you?” “Will my insurance cover me if I don’t get a referral from my general dentist?” These are some common concerns that most parents have when seeking orthodontic treatment for their kids. So, is it necessary for your general dentist to give a referral to see an orthodontist? Let’s find out.

First, What’s the Difference Between a General Dentist and An Orthodontist?

Orthodontists first need to qualify as dentists before completing their orthodontics training. In other words, they will have an additional three years after graduating as dentists. Once they qualify, they will register as specialists.

Does this mean that your regular dentist cannot offer orthodontic treatment? Not really! They are just not specialists who deal with orthodontic cases every other day and have a wide range of experience.

But remember, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontic specialists.

Are Referrals Necessary to See an Orthodontist?

The short answer is no. Suppose you think your kid needs orthodontic treatment. In that case, you can make an appointment with our kids’ dentist near you, Dr. Salvatore Livreri (AKA Dr. Sali), anytime to discuss the orthodontic issues and set up a treatment plan.

Most people tend to ask their general dentists for a referral before their kid starts any orthodontic treatment. However, this step and even additional consultations are not required. You can seek out an orthodontist at get to see if they are what you are looking for.

Is It Okay for You to Get a Referral from Your General Dentist?

Most definitely! If you maintain regular dental appointments with your dentist throughout the year, it is okay to ask them to refer you to a good orthodontist. Most likely, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist within your area with whom they have a good understanding or working relationship.

On the other hand, some dentists may have a list of orthodontists who you can choose from so that you can feel confident that you have options and you will find the right one.

You are not obliged to see the orthodontist that your dentist has referred you to. In fact, the orthodontic specialist will endeavor to work with your general dentist throughout the treatment to ensure that your kid’s overall oral health is okay, regardless of how you found the orthodontist.

You are also at liberty to consult various orthodontists before you commence your kid’s treatment. You can also have multiple consultations with or without a referral from your general dentist. But remember that each orthodontist will generally charge you for the initial consultation, so this should be in your budget.

When Is It Necessary to Visit An Orthodontist?

With or without a referral, your kid should visit our orthodontist at Greenwood Pediatric dentistry for seven years. However, you can come to a lot sooner if you are concerned about your child’s teeth or jaw position. Allowing our dentist to examine your child’s teeth when they are still erupting can help correct problems that would be more costly and difficult to treat later.

Plus, it could be difficult to accurately determine the best treatment plan if you visit too early. So our dentist will choose to review the case after some time.

If Your Dentist Hasn’t Recommended An Orthodontist Or You Would Like a Second Opinion, How Do You Find One?

Finding an orthodontist might not be easy, especially an experienced one. But here are some tips that can help you find one:

  • Ask other specialists, such as oral surgeons, who work with orthodontists
  • Ask family and friends who have had successful and positive experiences with their orthodontists
  • Check out the website for an orthodontist you prefer and read their reviews on social media and Google
  • Ask about the treatments being offered to see if they are in line with all that you are looking for
  • Visit the office and check them out to see if they are the right fit – trust your gut
  • Find out their payment options and if they offer to finance

If you have any more queries, you can contact us at our pediatric dental office in Greenwood, Kids First Dental, and we would love to help you find what you need.

864-223-1474 Book an Appointment