Orthodontists vs. Dentists: Who Should You See?
Orthodontists vs. Dentists: Who Should You See?

Orthodontists vs. Dentists: Who Should You See?

Orthodontists and dentists provide similar services. You know to see your family dentist for regular cleanings, cavity prevention, and treatment. But why should you see an orthodontist? Some dentists provide orthodontic services, so what’s the difference?

First, an orthodontist has a doctorate in general dentistry—just like your family dentist. They may even both be members of the American Dental Association. What separates an orthodontist from your general dentist is the rigorous training s/he receives after completing dental school. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.

An orthodontist completes two to three years of additional training in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment planning of malocclusion (or “bad bites”) and jaw anomalies. A bad bite can contribute to serious issues such as gum and bone loss, tooth decay, headaches, TMJ/TMD, and more. Typical treatments an orthodontist provides include braces, Invisalign, retainers, and orthognathic surgery. Orthognathic surgery helps to correct extreme cases of skeletal deformities in the jaw. Some orthodontists may also go on to become board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics.

Dentists, on the other hand, focus on treating a variety of oral health issues, including cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Some of the common treatments a dentist provides include x-rays, fillings, crowns, teeth whitening and veneers.

Simply put, orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth. They focus solely on orthodontic care, whereas dentists cover broader issues related to the teeth, gums, and nerves. Many general dentists will treat some orthodontic cases. However, they do not have the additional training and expertise that an orthodontist can provide.

At Skelton Orthodontics, we believe that it’s never too late to improve your smile. Call our office today at 256-844-8221 or visit our website to schedule your free initial consultation. We can help you create a beautiful #SkeltonSmile that you will love!

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