What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist

When looking to get work done on your teeth, the type of provider you go to will depend on what you need done. Many people are unaware of what the difference is between an orthodontist and a dentist, but knowing which services each provide can help you get the care you need in a timely manner.

Orthodontics is a highly specialized type of dentistry. It involves addressing and correcting problems related to the alignment of the teeth and sometimes the jaw as well. It is related to the field of dentistry, but the types of problems and concerns address by an orthodontist are much different than a dentist.

Orthodontists don’t perform general dental procedures like fillings, extractions, cleanings or whitenings. Instead, they are specialists that are able to use their skills to fix and align the teeth for a more attractive and effective smile and bite. Often, orthodontics are thought of to be cosmetic. However, getting the correct alignment of your teeth will improve the function of your mouth and reduce discomfort.

Because orthodontics is so specialized, orthodontists are required to study above and beyond what would be required for a regular dentist. They obtain a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree and a Masters degree or Doctorate in Orthodontics. They register with special boards and undergo additional testing to be able to work as an orthodontist.

All of the specialized training and professional regulation means that orthodontists are recognized as some of the most qualified people for dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems associated with the alignment of the teeth and jaws. To see an orthodontist, you don’t need a referral from your dentist, but many people seek this recommendation as a way of choosing a qualified practitioner that is recognized in the field.

Many orthodontists see themselves as a team, working with the patients dentist to create the optimal health outcome. They communicate with the general dentist and keep them informed of any work being done as well as progress and problems along the way.

While seeing an orthodontist, patients also continue visiting their regular dentists for cleanings, checkups and other needs. The orthodontist may bring up problems they notice at the visits, as the patient sees the orthodontist more regularly than their normal dentist. This way, during the course of the treatment, optimal dental health is maintained and the outcome of the process is as good as possible.

If you’re interested in finding out how orthodontics can improve your smile, consider visiting an orthodontist Cupertino for an initial consultation. After that, you’ll know what needs to be done to get your teeth looking and feeling their best.


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