What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

Mar 14, 2023 | Uncategorized

Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy

When it comes to oral health, there are two professionals who play a vital role in helping you keep your teeth healthy. The names of these professionals may sound similar, but there is a distinct difference between them and the services they provide. So what’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? Let’s take a closer look.

What Does Each Professional Do?

A dentist is responsible for the overall health of your teeth and gums, including diagnosing and treating various dental diseases. This can include everything from performing routine cleanings to filling cavities or extracting teeth. A dentist may also place crowns or bridges, as well as advise on proper nutrition for optimal oral health.

An orthodontist focuses on correcting misaligned teeth and jaw irregularities that can affect both adults and children alike. These issues can lead to overcrowded or crooked teeth as well as impacted wisdom teeth, facial pain, and speech impediments. An orthodontist works with patients to create treatment plans that will help realign their bite, straighten their teeth, and improve overall dental health through special appliances such as braces or retainers.

How Are They Different?

The primary difference between dentists and orthodontists is the type of care they provide. A dentist is trained to diagnose and treat any oral health issue that may arise over time while an orthodontist specializes in correcting misalignment issues using braces or other corrective appliances. In addition to having different educational backgrounds, each professional also requires different licenses in order to practice legally in their respective fields.

Deciding which type of specialist you might need depends largely on the issue at hand; a routine checkup may be all that’s needed if your dental hygiene is up to date; however if there are major structural issues with your teeth or jaw then seeing an orthodontist would be beneficial for long-term dental health care solutions. If you’re ever unsure about whether you should see a dentist or an orthodontist it’s always best to consult with your family doctor first before making any decisions about your oral care needs. Taking preventive measures now can help ensure that your smile stays healthy for years to come!