Dentist vs. Orthodontist; Who Does What?

Dentist vs. Orthodontist; Who Does What?

Dentist vs. Orthodontist! They both have a significant role in maintaining our oral and overall health. However, you might confuse the two when you have a problem and don’t know which one you should pay a visit to. This article will help you by explaining their background and the treatments each one of them can provide. This is for you if you need an ultimate guide for general dentist vs. orthodontist.

What Does a Dentist Do?

What Does a Dentist Do?

Dentists are the ones you go to for annual checkups and routine treatments. They can diagnose and treat conditions of your teeth, gums, tongues, and, in general, your mouth. About 80% of dentists are general dentists, but there are also certain specialties, such as endodontics, periodontics, and pediatric dentistry.

What Are the Qualifications for a Dentist?

The path starts with a bachelor’s degree and completing four years of medical school. After that, they can get a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry). After earning a degree, they should take licensing exams in the state they want to practice. So, don’t forget to check all of this before you choose your dentist.

What Can a Dentist Treat?

Dentist vs. Orthodontist - What can a dentist treat?

Dentists offer a wide range of treatments. Here, we name the most common ones:

  • Filling cavities;
  • Extracting teeth;
  • Repairing cracked teeth;
  • Treating gum diseases;
  • Teeth whitening;
  • Installing crowns and veneers;
  • Performing oral surgery.

What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Your general dentist will refer you to an orthodontist if you need specific specialty care. They are a kind of dentist specializing in tooth and jaw alignment. They supervise jawline and bite growth in children and address any misalignment by installing dental appliances and aligner, creating treatment plans, and performing surgery.

What Can an Orthodontist Treat?

Orthodontists can treat issues such as:

  • Overbites (when front teeth stick out)
  • Underbites (when lower teeth stick out)
  • Crossbites (when upper teeth don’t sit on lower teeth properly)
  • Crowding (when there are too many teeth in a small space)
  • spacing teeth (gaps between the teeth)

Each of these problems might require different services, including:

Do Orthodontists Have to Be Dentists First?

Dentist vs. Orthodontist - what does an orthodontist do?

Yes. After graduating from dental school and passing the exams, general dentists can choose to complete an orthodontic residency for two or three years. After residency, they can take an exam and officially become an orthodontist. Don’t forget that all the states require a renewal examination every ten years to maintain this certification.

Do I Need to See a Dentist Before an Orthodontist?

No. You don’t need a referral from your dentist; however, what they think about the issue will be helpful when you want to visit an orthodontist. Continuing your routine visits with your dentist, even throughout your orthodontic treatment, is also recommended.

Can Dentists Do Orthodontic Treatments?

The truth is that orthodontists study for additional years on top of what general dentists do. If a general dentist claims to treat orthodontic treatments, they most likely lack the educational qualification. Furthermore, the orthodontic treatment of each patient could be different, as there are several factors involved in the treatment success. Your orthodontist should have sufficient knowledge to explain the course of treatment to you.

Dentist vs. Orthodontist; Do You Know the Difference Now?

This article has tried to cover what you need to know about general dentist vs. orthodontist. If you are looking for a dentist or orthodontist in Orange County, California, we would like to introduce Aria Dental Care.

Aria Dental is a holistic and biological dental center that provides an array of modern dental and orthodontic services to ensure you have the best experience during your treatment. You just need to contact us for a consultation, and we will take care of the rest.

Aria dental tm - Contact us


Most Frequently Asked Questions

Dentists focus on overall oral health, while orthodontists specialize in teeth alignment.

Yes, dentists can provide basic orthodontic care, but complex cases may require an orthodontist.

Visit a dentist for regular check-ups; consult an orthodontist for teeth alignment concerns.

No, orthodontists offer various treatments beyond braces, depending on individual needs.

Braces address both cosmetic and functional issues, improving overall oral health.

Yes, for routine care, see a dentist. Consult an orthodontist for specialized treatments.

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