Oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health. Many people seek orthodontic treatment if they are unhappy with their smile or are having pain in their jaw. However, many people aren’t sure about the type of dental care they need. This leads to the frequently asked question, “should I visit a dentist or an orthodontist?”
While dentists and orthodontists both have vital roles, they are very different from each other. In this article, we will work to clearly differentiate between the job of an orthodontist and a dentist. We will also try to expel some widespread misconceptions and clear some common doubts. Let’s begin with the basics: what does an orthodontist do? And how does it differ from the job of a dentist?
What is an orthodontist and what do they do?
An orthodontist is a specialist whose typical work covers the areas of teeth and jaw alignment. They diagnose and treat skeletal issues using specialized, non-surgical procedures. Some common orthodontal treatments are braces, Invisalign, retainers, and early interceptive orthodontics.
What is a dentist and what do they do?
The general job description of a dentist is to maintain the health of your jaws, gums, and teeth. Dentists specialize in a broad range of fields that focuses on diagnosing and treating dental issues. Some common dental treatments are fillings, crown fittings, root canals, gum care, and teeth whitening.
How Do They Differ?
To put it in simple terms, you wouldn’t want your general physician to treat your skin or heart condition. That’s because you need a dermatologist or a cardiologist to treat such unique problems. Likewise, you wouldn’t want your dentist treating unique orthodontic issues. For general oral health concerns, you should visit your dentist. But for specific orthodontic treatment, you should visit an orthodontist. It’s also a good idea to look for doctors who work in your area. For example, if you live in or near the Northridge area, seek out a specialist serving Northridge.
Sometimes, it can be hard to understand the distinction between the two professions. After all, they are closely related. Learning the key differences can make a huge impact on your health. Here are some distinct differences between a dentist and an orthodontist.
Dentist Vs. Orthodontist: Their Educational Qualifications
In the beginning, dentists and orthodontists are similarly educated. Both professions require a bachelor’s degree as a basis for further study. Individuals who are trying to become dentists must then be accepted into dental school. They must complete a four-year doctoral program. After graduating, they can start practicing general dentistry and will be called a dentist. Dentists will earn a degree in doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S) or a doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D). While schools will offer one of these two degrees, both of them have a similar syllabus.
While dentists can start practicing, orthodontists will have to study further to get certified. They will have to undergo a residency program in orthodontics for 2 – 3 years. This residency program will be affiliated with a university that is approved by the American Dental Association. During this period, the doctors will get trained in the vast field of orthodontics. After they complete their post-doctorate training, they will be accredited by the American Board of Orthodontics. It takes 8 years of college education to become a dentist. However, it takes 10 – 11 years to specialize in orthodontics. Hence, all orthodontists are dentists, but not every dentist is an orthodontist.
Dentist Vs. Orthodontist: The Treatments They Offer
The education and training of your doctor will affect the type of treatments they offer. Your dentist will primarily oversee your general oral health. Their specialization lies in routine checkups, teeth cleanings, and teeth restoration work. On the other hand, your orthodontist will solely care about your jaw and teeth alignment. What does an orthodontist do? They are specialized in areas like teeth straightening, bite alignment, and jaw symmetry. These problems affect the aesthetics, speech patterns, and chewing habits of any person. Orthodontists offer treatments for people of all ages. You should ensure your entire family is screened early in order to diagnose and treat any major orthodontic issues.
Should you visit a dentist or an orthodontist?
You should make this decision based on the nature of your oral problem. During a routine dental exam, you can get an opinion from your dentist. However, any orthodontic treatment you might need should come from an orthodontist. After all, they have specialized in the field where you are needing assistance. In most situations, your dentist will recommend that you need an orthodontist if your situation calls for it. Because every doctor has a unique skill-set, you want to make sure you are seeing the right person to solve any oral problems you are experiencing. If you require orthodontic treatment, always seek help from an experienced certified orthodontist.
Why You Should Trust CaliSmile Orthodontics?
CaliSmile Orthodontics only specializes in providing quality orthodontic treatment. Fixing smiles is the only thing we do – that’s why we are so good at it! Dr. Amir is an accredited orthodontist in Los Angeles, CA with over 14 years of experience. Having worked in both private and corporate practices, he has specialized in the fields of orthodontics, pediatrics, and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Amir worked his way through dental school and competitive orthodontic training program to become certified as an orthodontist. His passion to help people is very strong.
As the head of CaliSmile Orthodontics, Dr. Amir is committed to providing excellent patient support, treatment, and care. He gives personalized attention and customized treatment plans that suit your budget and lifestyle. CaliSmile Orthodontics boasts of a relaxing office that is fitted with the latest medical equipment. We also offer financial support by giving flexible payment plans and complimentary consultation. Assisted by his capable staff, Dr. Amir ensures every patient receives a seamless and stress-free experience.
CaliSmile Orthodontics cares about you! Our biggest aim is to provide you with the best possible experience during your orthodontic treatment. It’s our passion to empower people by fixing their smiles. We treat our patients with sincere compassion and empathy. We are a big and happy family – and we welcome you to be a part of it. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation with us.