Tag Archives: Orthodontists vs. Dentists

Orthodontists vs. Dentists: What’s The Difference

Orthodontists vs. Dentists: What’s the difference? Did you know that around 91% of U.S. adults were reported to have dental cavities in 2012? The stats indicate that most Americans overlook their dental health. However, your teeth play a crucial role in the sound of speech and help in digestion of food; therefore, neglecting your dental health can result in distressing health issues.

Whether you have crossbites, overbite, crowding, or any other dental problem, visiting a dentist is the first thing that probably comes to your mind. However, some of the dental problems do not require dentists; you would need to visit another specialist- orthodontist.

When it comes to dental problems, you may find it difficult to choose the appropriate specialist for you from a dentist or orthodontist while considering that you need to know the differences between both the specialists.

Difference between Dentist and Orthodontist

Dentists and orthodontists, both specialists, help you improve your oral health. However, they treat your dental problems in different ways. Not to mention, dentistry deals with the gum, teeth, jaw, and nerves, whereas orthodontics is a medical specialty within dentistry that focuses on teeth alignment, occlusion, and correcting bites.

As mentioned earlier, orthodontists and dentists deal with dental problems. However, orthodontists are the specialists that focus on specific dental issues, such as crossbites, occlusions, and crowding.

Orthodontists and dentists complete a 4-year college program and complete four years of dental school. Conversely, orthodontists further spend 2-3 years in residency training while focusing on jaw movement and tooth movement.

In other words, orthodontists specifically deal with tooth movement and facial development. Orthodontists’ focus is on braces and providing the patients with the best treatment required to ensure they have a correct bite, aligned teeth, proper facial growth.

Craniofacial development is a term that is related to the tissue and molecular interactions that control the growth and development of your head. Orthodontists focus on craniofacial development.

Since all orthodontists are dentists, some specialists may have practiced dentistry before choosing the orthodontic as their profession. Keep in mind orthodontic is one of the recognized dental specialties.

Dentists ensure good oral hygiene and provide patients with the services related to root canals, tooth decay, gum disease, bridges, veneers, crowns, and teeth whitening. On the other hand, orthodontists deal with the common dental problems that include overbite, underbite, crowded teeth, and misaligned teeth.

Not to mention, these dental specialists deal with hundreds of malocclusions during their residency training to be accredited for an orthodontist. While considering that, you can have a better idea now that this level of training and specialization ensures you the best treatment type for you. Note that, orthodontists ensure that your chewing, biting, and speech functions work properly.

The Main Takeaway

While the dentist’s primary focus is fillings, crowns, gum care, root canals, and tooth health, they do not deal with jaw or facial growth or tooth movement. For this reason, your family dentists probably will not handle orthodontics for you.

To help you understand better, consider the example of other areas of medical expertise; if you have a kidney stone, you will not go to a practitioner of sinus surgery. Instead, your doctor will refer you another specialist, most probably urologist or nephrologists to help treat your problem.

Similar is the case with orthodontists and dentists: your dentist will refer a good orthodontist, Manhattan Family Orthodontics to treat your specific dental problems.

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