Orthodontists and dentists are both experts in oral healthcare. Both treat the oral issues of their patients and help them achieve healthy teeth and a shiny smile. Dentists are doctors who specialize in treating problems with teeth, gums, and mouth. Orthodontists receive the same training, but they study further and are the experts of teeth straightening, malocclusion, and bite corrections. This article will explain the differences between dentist vs. orthodontist and what each one specializes in.

What Is A Dentist

A dentist is the care provider of oral health, and they undergo extensive training to become certified. If you feel tooth pain or minor bleeding from the gums, you can visit your dentist for treatment. Dentists also perform dental cleanings to give you plaque and bacteria-free teeth. Below are some of the services that dentists provide:

  • Severe decay or injury may call for a tooth extraction
  • Teeth whitening services
  • Teeth filling and bonding
  • Installation of crowns
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Provide guidelines for good oral hygiene
  • Cavity filling

What Is An Orthodontist

Orthodontists are dental doctors who specialize in treating issues related to teeth and jaw alignment. Orthodontists are certified and trained to provide gums, mouth, and teeth treatment, but their main focus is if your teeth and jaws are correctly aligned. The services they provide are:

  • Surgery for straightening teeth
  • Diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion
  • Installation of braces, retainers, palatal expanders, and other dental appliances
  • Monitor the growth of bite and jawline for junior patients
  • Treatment for crowded teeth, overbite, underbite

Orthodontist Vs. Dentist: Education And Training

Dentists and orthodontists are both oral doctors and receive the same education. However, orthodontists have to study further and receive a certification to go to practice.
Dentists receive a pre-dentistry degree before going for their bachelor’s of dentistry. Later the dentists need training and are required to complete a residency to get the certificate. Out of the four years of bachelor’s degree, the first two are based on classroom lectures and lab. For the remaining years, dentists are required to work with patients.

After receiving the certification, orthodontists must get a residency that lasts for about 2-3 years. After the additional certification tests are complete, orthodontists can hit the road to practice.

When To See An Orthodontist Or Dentist?

Sometimes orthodontists and dentists may provide the same services, which depends on each individual’s case. A dentist may treat the most common oral problems, including tooth decay, tooth removal, toothache. If you have swollen gums or mouth or suspect an oral infection or gum disease, your dentist can take care of your needs.

When you have severe bite issues, your dentist may recommend you to visit an orthodontist. The cases of tooth crowding, overbite (buck teeth), underbite, crossbite, and openbite all need the eye of an orthodontist. If you think your teeth need straightening or have a crooked jawline, you should go to an orthodontist.

If you cannot decide what doctor to go to, you can always visit your dentist and ask for an expert opinion. To schedule a consultation with our dentists, call Pearl Dentistry at 713.766.4389.

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