Orthodontists and dentists serve different purposes when it comes to creating and maintaining beautiful smiles. Both are absolutely essential for achieving the greatest results! But how exactly do orthodontists and dentists differ?
Here’s everything you need to know about orthodontists vs. dentists:
Orthodontist Vs. Dentist: Education & Training
Although orthodontists and dentists are both highly qualified professionals, these positions differ in their educational and training requirements. Both professions begin with the same education, but orthodontists are required to take their training a step further.
- To be a qualified dentist, a person has to complete 4 years of undergraduate school and 4 years of dental school. After these 8 years of education, dentists must take a written exam and a clinical licensing exam, which earns them the distinction of DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry).
- To be a qualified orthodontist, a person has to complete the same 8 years of undergraduate school and dental school that dentists do, but they also have to complete an additional 2 to 3 year residency that equates to more than 4,800 hours of orthodontic training.
All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6% of dentists are orthodontists.
Due to the different training requirements of dentists and orthodontists, orthodontists are significantly more qualified to provide treatment with braces and Invisalign®. Although some dentists may offer braces or Invisalign, they often do not treat the wide variety and complexity of cases that orthodontists are experienced to treat.
Dentists work in conjunction with the orthodontist who are specifically trained in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics to provide the patient the best comprehensive treatment. of the teeth, but orthodontists consider the appearance of the teeth, along with the alignment of the jaw bones and the position of each tooth to provide a comprehensive treatment.
Orthodontist Vs. Dentists: Treatments Performed
Dentists provide regular teeth cleanings, evaluation and treatment of cavities, gum disease, and similar oral hygiene problems, and tooth extraction. They also restore broken and misshapen teeth through bonding treatment, veneers and crowns.
Your dentist serves to assess your oral hygiene and help you to prevent oral diseases. They can also refer you to other specialists and physicians, if necessary and when appropriate.
Dentists often perform cosmetic treatment with braces or Invisalign, but they often refer depending on the complexity of your treatment needs.
Orthodontists provide treatments to correct the position of the teeth and bite to improve the functionality and appearance of the teeth. Our focus is to move your teeth and align your jaws to create a healthy smile that will last a lifetime.
Orthodontists can treat rotated, crowded, and spaced teeth as well as , malocclusions (open bite, overbite, underbite, cross bite), sleep apnea via airway orthodontics, TMJ disorders, and more.
The Bottom Line
Orthodontists create personalized treatment plans to improve the bite and smile in children, teens, and adults. All orthodontists are dentists but all dentists aren’t orthodontists. Orthodontists are specialists and experts in this specific area of dentistry.
Both orthodontists and dentists are fundamental to a healthy smile! Regular dental cleanings and routine dental care with a dentist are still essential throughout an orthodontic treatment period.
If you or a family member is in need of an orthodontist near you, we would love to meet you! We are one of Las Vegas’ leading orthodontic providers, and we are proud to transform smiles for the people of our communities.