Dentists vs Orthodontists What’s the difference

Dentists vs Orthodontists: What’s the difference?

Dentists and orthodontists both work towards helping people improve and maintain their oral hygiene.  But beyond this, orthodontics and dentistry are two very different fields.

So, to explain the differences between these two medical professionals, we’ve put together this quick guide.  Throughout this article, we’ll also provide some helpful resources pertaining to oral care and other medical services.

Dentistry and Orthodontics

Dentistry and Orthodontics

For a brief overview, dentists usually deal with a patient’s teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw.  Alternatively, orthodontists specialize in procedures such as bite correction, occlusion, and teeth straightening.

Put simply, all orthodontists can be considered dentists but not all dentists have the qualifications necessary to call themselves orthodontists.  

Due to this, many orthodontists are capable of providing the same care and services as dentists… but not vice versa.

Dental Services

To expound on a dentist’s capabilities, most dental clinics will offer services pertaining to tooth decay, crowns, veneers, and teeth whitening.  

In this sense, dentists typically aim to encourage clients to practice healthy oral hygiene.

While most dental clinics offer services pertaining to oral cosmetics, dentists are also capable of performing minor surgeries such as tooth extractions and root canals.  

In severe cases, however, an oral surgeon is required instead of a standard dentist.

Dental services can be a big help when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and cavity-free.  For general oral hygiene, it’s best to visit your local dentist as they will be able to assess your current oral health and refer you to any specialists if the need should arise.

Orthodontic Services

Orthodontists have all the training and capabilities of a standard dentist, but they often focus on procedures relating to misaligned teeth, crowding, overbite, underbite, and jaw alignment.  

Thanks to these specializations, orthodontists are better equipped to handle teeth and jaw alignment issues compared to standard dentists.  They are also able to devote more time and attention to their patients and their respective procedures.

This is particularly important as many orthodontic treatments such as braces can last as long as 2 to 3 years.  Since they often meet with various patients every day, standard dentists just aren’t able to devote the same amount of attention to orthodontic patients.

To reiterate, if you’re looking for general oral care it’s best to consult a dentist.  Alternatively, if you’re concerned about the alignment of your teeth or jaw, your best bet would be to visit your local orthodontist.

Consulting the right professional will not only help you get the right kind of dental care, but also save you time and money.  This is because the right dental practitioner will be able to properly determine your needs and the procedures required to meet them.

That concludes our quick guide to dentists and orthodontists.  Now that we’ve outlined the differences and similarities between the two, we sincerely hope you’ll have an easier time picking a clinic for your specific dental concerns.