Dentist and Orthodontist: What’s the Difference?

If your child has ever seen a dentist and orthodontist, you may be confused by the differences surrounding those two professions.

Both fields deal with the health of your child’s mouth, teeth, and gums, but each has a different approach. An understanding of these differences will help you decide which is the best choice for your child’s health and well-being.

We will explore both professions and what sets them apart in this guide. Keep reading to learn which is best for your child.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty field that deals with the development, prevention, and correction of abnormalities of the teeth and jaw. An orthodontic can offer braces, retainers, and other corrective treatments for misaligned teeth, jaw irregularities, and bite problems.

It is the science and art of controlling the growth of teeth and their relationship to each other and other parts of the face. Straight teeth and an even bite can lead to a healthier mouth and greater self-confidence. For those with orthodontic problems, trusted local orthodontic services can give a lifetime of benefits. 

What is Dentistry?

Dentistry focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions or diseases that may affect the teeth, mouth, and jaw. This includes many different treatments, such as cavity filling, root canal therapy, and other preventive treatments.

Also, dentists may work with orthodontists to help straighten teeth or correct malocclusion (a misaligned bite). A dentist will do an assessment of the mouth, jaws, and bite to decide which orthodontic treatment is best for a patient. Both dentists and orthodontists work together to give comprehensive dental care and achieve a healthy, attractive smile.

Exploring the Educational Requirements for Each Profession

Dentists must have a doctorate of dental medicine degree and must be licensed in the state where they run. Orthodontists must have dental degrees and then complete two to three years of added post-doctoral training in orthodontics.

Also, they must get specialty certifications from their state boards. The educational provisions for dentists and orthodontists give the core knowledge needed to practice in the field.

Examining the Roles Both Play in Maintaining Oral Health

Dentists and orthodontists are both important when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene. A dentist has a primary role in the maintenance and health of teeth and gums. They give preventive care through routine exams and cleaning, filling cavities, repairing damaged teeth, and doing extractions.

But, an orthodontist specializes in the correction of misalignments and jaw problems. They prescribe and fit braces, retainers, and corrective appliances to align and move teeth/jaws into their correct positions. Orthodontist services can also provide specialized dental services such as Invisalign and lingual braces. 

The Benefits of Finding a Reliable Dentist and Orthodontist

Visiting the dentist regularly and learning about the difference between dentist and orthodontist can help ensure good oral hygiene and improved health. Generally, orthodontists specialize in restoring malocclusion, while dentists give regular check-ups and treatments.

If you have malocclusion or other problems with your teeth and gums, it is best to consult with a professional. Talk with your doctor or dentist today to help find the best route to your oral health.

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