Orthodontist vs dentist – Who should you trust with your smile?

Have you ever wondered, what is the difference between an orthodontist and a regular dentist? The confusion is understandable. Both professionals share many similarities. They work tirelessly to help their patients achieve an attractive, beautiful smile and good oral health. However, an orthodontist differs from a regular dentist in multiple ways. In this article, let’s discuss the basic differences between orthodontists and dentists.

  • Dentistry is a broad medical field that deals with all problems related to teeth, gums, jaw, and associated nerves. A dentist is much like a general practitioner (GP) with in-depth knowledge of their subject.
  • Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with correcting bad bites, occlusions, and malalignment of teeth and jaw. Orthodontists are registered dental experts with a major focus on straightening teeth and associated issues using devices like braces, clear aligners, retainers, Herbst appliances, palatal expanders, etc.

Education of Dentist vs. Orthodontist

  • Dentists and orthodontists both graduate from a dental school. Additional schooling is required to become an orthodontist. A dentist completes a full-time accredited program in orthodontics for two or more years.

Scope of Practice – Dentist

  • Dentists are licensed to practice general dentistry. They are usually general family doctors who deal with the day-to-day oral health issues of their patients and provide useful guidance in case the patients require specialist treatment.

Dentists are skilled general practitioners who regularly diagnose and treat problems, and common diseases related to the teeth, mouth, and gums. They treat patients of all ages. Dentists typically provide services regarding tooth decay, teeth whitening, root canals, gum diseases & placement of bridges and crowns.

  • However, dentists do not undertake formal specialized training for fitting braces or other teeth malalignment procedures. So, after diagnosing a patient with dental irregularity, the dentist will refer their patients to specialists in orthodontics when required.

Scope of Practice – Orthodontist

  • An orthodontist is a professional with specialized knowledge and skill in performing procedures for correcting malalignments of teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are facial growth and dental development experts but also provide services similar to a general dentist.

Orthodontists diagnose and treat misaligned and crowded teeth, extra spaces between teeth, underbites, overbites, and cross-bites. They can deal with post-traumatic loss of teeth or jaw damage. They also treat temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and premature loss of baby teeth.

Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist

  • orthodontist vs dentistConsulting an orthodontist will help you in multiple ways. Better-looking teeth and a bright smile can boost your self-confidence. An improved bite and corrected protruded teeth are not only cosmetically appealing but also give better oral anatomy, reducing risks of injury to the tongue and cheeks. Orthodontists use an unmatchable blend of the latest technology and the most experienced staff to correct any malocclusion or misalignment of teeth.

Contact Icon Dental Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with the best orthodontists in Seattle or Everett. Our expert dentists are dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatment, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Trust us to help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. For consultations or bookings, call us at (206) 225-2882 for Seattle and (425) 337-2400 for Everett appointments.

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