What is the Difference Between a Dentist and An Orthodontist?

At The Orthodontic Place, we understand there’s confusion between orthodontists and dentists, which can make choosing the right care provider difficult. Let’s explore the key differences to help you make informed decisions about your smile’s overall oral health, orthodontic treatment, and dental health. Knowing the difference may ensure your oral and dental health and beauty are effectively managed.

Orthodontists specialise in orthodontic treatment, such as braces and aligners, while dentists cover a broader range of services, including preventive care, fillings, and treating gum disease. Dentists may refer patients to orthodontists for specialised treatment as needed.

What Do General Dentists Cover?

A general dentist, also known as a family dentist, is a primary dental care provider who focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral health issues. They play a vital role in providing a wide range of services, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, and more, to maintain the health and functionality of your teeth and gums.

Regular dental check-ups with only the best dentists are crucial for early detection of problems, preventing dental issues from worsening and maintaining optimal oral hygiene for a lifetime of healthy smiles that dentists share with their patients.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist or specialist orthodontist focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. Their role is crucial for improving teeth and jaw alignment through orthodontic treatment plans. Common orthodontic appliances such as braces and aligners are used to gradually shift teeth into their proper positions, allowing patients to see an orthodontist for a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing smile.

The Key Difference Between an Orthodontist and a General Dentist

An orthodontist and a dentist both play crucial roles in your oral health. While a general dentist is your one-stop clinic for overall oral health, including dental services in cleanings, fillings, and fixing cavities, they also diagnose and treat tooth decay and other common dental issues.

On the other hand, an orthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on orthodontic care, such as diagnosing and correcting crooked teeth, improper bite patterns, and alignment issues. Orthodontists offer specialised treatments like braces and aligners to correctly align teeth, while general dentists may also work with dental hygienists to ensure comprehensive oral care for their patients.

Orthodontist and Dentist: Know Which Dental Clinic To Visit

When it comes to addressing poorly aligned jaws and achieving a straighter smile, consulting a registered dental specialist is crucial. Unlike general dentists, registered specialist orthodontists undergo extensive training to effectively diagnose and treat complex orthodontic issues.

The critical difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist is their expertise; orthodontists are trained to diagnose jaw misalignments and provide tailored treatment plans using braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances.

Types of Orthodontic Treatment

Dental specialists like orthodontists apply orthodontic treatment options. These include braces, aligners, retainers, and other specialised appliances designed to correct dental and facial irregularities, like to treat crooked teeth and jaw alignment issues.

Unlike treatments at a family dentist, there are a few key differences between orthodontic treatment and general dentistry. We tailor our orthodontic care and approach to each patient based on their smile goals. In addition to orthodontic treatments, we can also perform cosmetic dental procedures (teeth whitening) to make your dream smile come true.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you become a specialist orthodontist?

The journey to becoming an orthodontist in Australia starts with a five-year general dental degree (BDS or DMD) at dental school, followed by general dentist experience. Aspiring orthodontists then embark on a three-year specialist program, known as the Specialist Orthodontic Degree, focused on facial growth and orthodontic treatments. This comprehensive training leads to registration and independent practice in this smile-perfecting field.

Do I need to see an orthodontist or a general dentist for braces and alignment issues?

Orthodontists specialise in diagnosing and treating misaligned teeth, straightening teeth and jaw issues, and offering a range of orthodontic treatments such as braces, aligners, and retainers to achieve optimal alignment and a straighter smile.

Can a general dentist provide orthodontic care like braces and aligners?

While some general dentists may offer certain orthodontic treatments like Invisalign, orthodontists are specialists with the most extensive training and experience for correcting misaligned teeth and jaws using braces, aligners, and other methods.

How often should I visit an orthodontist versus a general dentist for routine check-ups?

For routine braces or orthodontic treatment check-ups, it’s typically recommended to visit the orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks. On the other hand, for general oral health check-ups, cleanings, and preventive care, you should visit your general dentist every six months or as recommended based on your individual oral health needs.

Visit Our Specialist Orthodontist Clinic

Ready to unlock a confident, beautiful smile? Our expert orthodontists at The Orthodontic Place can transform both your oral health and appearance. Schedule a consultation today and take the first step towards a lifetime of smiles you love. For jaw alignment concerns, our registered professionals will guide you to a healthier, more confident you.