Are you confused about the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist? If you’re new to orthodontic care, it may be difficult to see why you need to have both.
How are they similar?
The main similarity between a dentist and orthodontist is that they both focus on oral care. An orthodontist can work in a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. So in this respect, they are quite similar. They are both considered doctors, and deal with the teeth and gums.
How are they different?
There are more differences than similarities. An orthodontist requires additional schooling as a dental specialty; the situation is similar to a doctor who obtains additional schooling to become a surgeon. Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, or fitting them for corrective braces and devices. For many of these issues, a dentist will refer their patient to an orthodontist.
Dentists typically encourage good oral hygiene and provide services related to:
Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the alignment of teeth, and provide services related to:
What an orthodontist can help with
Orthodontists help with crooked teeth, but they assist patients with other issues as well. These include overbites and underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Orthodontists can also treat jaw problems.