How Is an Orthodontist Different Than A Dentist?

July 28, 2014

dentist vs. orthodontist

Orthodontist vs Dentist

So many people are confused about the difference between an orthodontist and a regular dentist. Both of them are doctors who deal with teeth, so what is the difference between them?

Chances are high that you have been to a dental office and are very familiar with exactly what a dentist does. They clean your teeth, fill cavities, and fix other problems related to teeth. While dentists and orthodontists address the same issues related to the teeth, the main difference between them is found in the methods they use to provide the care.

Who are dentists?

Basically, dentists are doctors who are specialists in treating problems with gums and teeth. They mostly deal with general dental problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, tartar and related concerns. A dentist usually informs his or her patients about the importance of practicing good oral hygiene to boost their dental health and encourages them to get regular cleanings at least twice a year.

Who are orthodontists?

Orthodontists are trained to handle dental problems that are more serious, such as issues with teeth alignment, which the regular dentist can’t deal with. More often than not, people visit an orthodontist after being referred to them by their dentists, particularly when they need braces. Your orthodontist will assess your dental alignment problems and take scans as well as measurements. They will then fit the most appropriate braces on your teeth in order to straighten your smile and correct the underlying dental problem. To do this, orthodontists make use of highly specialized equipment to assess and measure the problems with your teeth and jaw alignment. Depending on the nature of your problem, they will recommend various forms of treatments beyond braces.

Who to see?

Whether you should see a dentist or an orthodontist will depend on the specific kind of dental treatment that you need. Ideally, both orthodontists and dentists play a very valuable role when it comes to enhancing the beauty and overall health of your teeth. In most cases, orthodontists and dentists tend to work together to offer holistic treatment. Typically, you should start by seeing a general dentist and explain your problems. If the dentist thinks that you need an orthodontist, he or she will refer you to a local orthodontist. However, if you need cosmetic work, tooth extraction or general dental care to protect your orthodontic work, then your orthodontist is going to refer you to the services of a dentist.

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