The answer to your “smile problems” is found in the philosophy of a complex society. Beginning in Mesopotamia with the transition from hunting & gathering to agricultural communities, societies have continued to advance the model of specialization.
Back in the days of Little House on the Prairie, Ma & Pa sold their crops and were able to trade for staples like flour, salt and sugar as well as tack and tools, and the occasional nicety like a glass window or velvet fabric. Still, their life required a jack-of all-trades approach and they did everything from build their own house to grow their own crops and sew their own clothing. They spent 14 hours a day, trying to get the basics done, with relatively limited time for researching, inventing, progressing or perfecting.
Increased specialization ensures that the group as a whole will certainly accomplish more, as each individual is free to focus on specific skills and contribute their expertise to society while relying on others to accomplish a multitude of things which the former is not as skilled in. The sum total of everyone’s efforts is significantly greater than any single individuals could be. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Your dentist is an expert at diagnosing and treating tooth decay, as well as identify various oral pathologies. Although everything teeth is technically included in the dental scope-of- practice upon graduating from dental school, expertise comes with years of daily practice. An orthodontist has completed 2-3 years of formal orthodontic training after dental school and straightens smiles, day-in and day-out, year after year.
In the same way that your trusted family doctor refers you to an orthopedic surgeon to realign a broken leg, your general dentist best cares for you by addressing smile problems that are within his expertise, and referring you to an Orthodontic Specialist for your orthodontic problems.
A referral, however, is not required and you just asked the right question. YOU are invited to schedule a complimentary consultation, and to ask more great questions. In our Complex Society, calling on each dental specialist for their unique set of 10,000 hours is how you will find your perfect “smile solution.”