Orthodontist vs Dentist

If you’re unhappy with your smile, you may be wondering if you should see a dentist or an orthodontist for cosmetic treatments. As with many medical procedures, the answer to this largely depends on your specific situation and why you’re unhappy with your teeth.

Understanding the specialties of these two dental professionals will help guide you in the right direction.

The Distinction Between the Specialties

A dentist is a medical professional who has graduated from a four-year university and then attended dental school and passed their program. After graduation, a dentist is fully fledged and ready to handle issues such as fillings, root canals, crowns, bonding, veneers and tooth extractions.

An orthodontist has all the same training as a dentist, but he or she didn’t stop after dental school. An orthodontist then attended a school of orthodontics for additional studies that dealt with jaw and tooth alignment and how to correct problems using braces, headgear, and other dental appliances. In short, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists went on to become orthodontists.

Deciding What You Need

If you’re unhappy with your teeth because they are not straight or because you have an obvious overbite or underbite, you want to see our team at Lach Orthodontics.

We can advise you of your options, which may include Invisalign®, retainers or adult braces. Because an orthodontist is also a fully trained dentist, we can also offer complete cosmetic work as well, such as whitening and other smile optimizers.

We also offer advanced diagnostics and technology to help you see what your new smile will look like after your orthodontic treatment is complete.

If you are happy with the position and alignment of your teeth but your teeth are stained, cracked or need a serious cleaning, a dentist can handle these concerns.

Problems that go above a dentist’s education and training will likely be referred to an orthodontist if he or she feels you need orthodontics, as proper bite alignment helps establish a solid foundation for most treatments your dentist will perform.

While these two specialties are different in education and training, they also go hand-in-hand to ensure that your smile is not only properly aligned and beautiful but also healthy.

When it comes to your oral appearance and care, it is important to know when to see a dentist or an orthodontist, or when both may be necessary for comprehensive treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out more about what orthodontics can do for you.