What's the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Orthodontists are specialized dentists who focus on correcting bites, occlusion, and straightness of teeth. Learn more about how they differ from general dentists.

What's the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Both orthodontists and dentists are dedicated to helping patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gums, nerves and the jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on correcting the bites, occlusion, and straightness of the teeth. A dentist is a doctor trained to specialize in the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. Orthodontists are also dentists, but their specialty in dentistry focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, which is the way teeth come into contact with each other, and the straighteness of the teeth.

To become an orthodontist, a dentist must complete at least two additional years of courses specific to the field of orthodontics. An orthodontist evaluates your bite to determine the best solution for your needs, such as orthodontic appliances. A dentist can refer patients to their preferred orthodontist if it is determined that additional oral care is needed beyond the scope of general dentistry. Only orthodontists have two or more additional years of orthodontic education from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, which provides them with specialized training in moving teeth.

This allows the orthodontist to detect possible problems as soon as possible and to help guide the child's growth and development. An orthodontist is also able to perform tooth extractions to give your mouth more space and ease pain. If you want to straighten your smile and feel more confident, you'll benefit from seeing an orthodontist. Your dentist must complete 8 years of higher education, while your orthodontist must complete 10 or 11 years to become a specialist.

Orthodontists will help you correct the overbite, underbite, tooth crowding, and tooth alignment. They can also diagnose problems with the temporomandibular joint and find out what is causing the pain. Dentists will help you with general oral care, tooth decay and gum disease, as well as with procedures such as tooth extraction, crowns or root canals. To help you decide between a dentist and an orthodontist and determine which one is right for you, it's important to understand the main aspects of each of them and then explain the difference between dentists and orthodontists.

We hope this article has helped you understand the main differences and similarities between orthodontists and dentists.