An Orthodontist And A Dentist: What Are The Differences?

An orthodontist, as well as a dentist, are both medical practitioners certified in oral and dental health care. General dental physicians go through dental school to learn how to detect and remedy problems you might have with your teeth, mouth, gums, and tongue.

Orthodontists like the ones at Meschke Orthodontics – Wichita Bright Smiles also undergo this type of training plus additional medical studies to specialize as experts in detecting and correcting teeth and jaw defects.

This post will discuss the differences between a dentist and an orthodontist to help you decide which specialist you could visit.

What Is The Role Of A Dentist?

A dentist is a physician who specializes in oral care. Dentists typically pursue a pre-medical or pre-dentistry degree before enrolling in dentistry school.

To be fully qualified as a dentist, just like other physicians, you must undergo rigorous training in that field. Statistically, nearly 80% of dentists do general dentistry.

Qualified and licensed dentists can detect and treat problems in your gums, teeth, mouth, and tongue. They also can get your teeth cleaned, although dental hygienists typically handle that part.

Dentists, therefore, conduct the following services:

  • Carry out oral surgery
  • Restore tooth appearance with crowns and veneers
  • Monitor/Supervise the growth of children’s teeth.
  • Fix cavities
  • Take and analyze oral X-rays
  • Teeth extraction
  • Dental filling
  • Bonding teeth
  • Treating gum diseases
  • Oral care recommendation
  • Oral health treatment and prescription
  • Teeth whitening

And What’s The Role Of An Orthodontist?

Orthodontists are dentists who deal with oral health matters. They’re technically dentists who specialize in aligning teeth and jaws.

As discussed above, dentists mainly detect and treat problems in your mouth, gums, and teeth. However, orthodontists are primarily concerned with ensuring that your teeth and jaws are aligned correctly.

Orthodontists perform the procedures below:

  • Monitor the facial development of young ones- bite and jawline
  • Handling malocclusion, which involves diagnosing as well as treating jaws and teeth that might be misaligned.
  • Develop treatment strategies which include retainers and braces
  • Carry out procedures to straighten your teeth
  • Installing dental appliances Such as; palatal expanders, braces, Herbst appliances, and orthodontic headgears.

Qualifications And Schooling: An Orthodontist Versus A Dentist

Orthodontists and dentists go through relatively similar educational training. Although before practicing, an orthodontist must get extra academic qualifications.

Before enrolling in a dentistry graduate school, dentists study a degree in pre-medical or pre-dentistry.

Dentists, like other physicians, must undergo rigorous training and complete the residency stage to be certified. They’ll only qualify for accreditation via a thorough test.

Just like other physicians, dentists are also expected to have significant training in their field. The medical system requires them to spend the first two years in dentistry school, attending lecture halls and laboratory activities. In that period, a dental school that is licensed typically supervises dentists as they operate on patients.

Additionally, dentists must excel in the National Dental Examination after graduating from dental school to become certified practitioners.

On the other hand, orthodontists usually major in pre-medical or pre-dental studies while in college before enrolling in dentistry.

Thereafter they graduate from the school of dentistry and do the fundamental certification exams. Orthodontists are also required to complete two to three-year orthodontic residency training to earn specialized credentials offered in the field.

Moreover, orthodontists are free to practice dentistry as soon as they pass the certification examinations, as stated by the American Board of Orthodontics.

Should you visit a dentist or an orthodontist?

You should consider a dentist as one who treats general dental and oral problems, while an orthodontist is a specialized medical practitioner.

Your dentist could make a diagnosis and treat painful and decaying teeth. They can also repair and extract teeth, handle inflammation, diagnose and treat diseases associated with gums, and treat any infections within the mouth.

In certain instances, a dentist may suggest you visit an orthodontist whose main job is to fix jaw malocclusion, teeth crowding, or palate enlargement.

It would be best to have an orthodontist evaluate your child’s teeth before they are seven years old to determine whether braces could be needed or not. If you’re an adult and suspect that your teeth or jawline is crooked and needs straightening, you could seek services from an orthodontist as well without necessarily going through a dentist.

You should also take note that only a few orthodontic services are under your healthcare plan. In such instances, the insurance providers may ask you to provide a referral document issues by the dentist before covering the cost of your orthodontic procedure.

Upshot

Orthodontists and dentists are both physicians with educational backgrounds in detecting and handling dental and oral health problems. However, orthodontists are licensed to carry out more specialized procedures that dentists would need additional training to do.

Moreover, an orthodontist’s extra training enables them to put braces on patients and detect any jaw misalignment or other dental complexities. As you proceed with your dental checkups, it’s imperative to inquire from your dentist if you require an orthodontist.

If a dentist has referred you to see an orthodontist or you suspect that you need orthodontic services, visit https://www.meschkesmiles.com/ to check out the list of orthodontic services offered that may suit the needs of you and your family.