The terms “orthodontist” and “dentist” are used interchangeably by most of the people. However, they both have a significant difference. Though there are plenty of similarities in both the professions, an orthodontist has specialization in certain forms of dental care.
So, let’s discuss who is an orthodontist first and how is he different from the dentists, before moving further.
A doctor who works on multiple parts such as mouth, gums, jaw, teeth, etc is called a dentist. Whereas an orthodontist is a doctor who works in a specialized field section. So when you have problems like misaligned jaws and teeth, occlusions, overbites, and others, you can visit an orthodontist for the right treatment.
Both the dentist and an orthodontist are medical experts. However, an orthodontist has more detailed and specialized knowledge in the specific field.
Difference between a Dentist’s and an Orthodontist’s Training
One needs to be highly committed in order to become an orthodontist. And you may need twelve years of university education for this. Firstly, you need to complete your four years bachelor’s degree program and then complete another four years in a dental school.
This allows you to practice as a general dentist and start your career in this field. The ones who want to head on to a specialty like orthodontics have to study more. An additional master’s degree program of three years included with one or two years of general dentist’s training makes you eligible to work as an orthodontist in Norwalk.
Apart from the training, here are the key points of differences between both the medical professionals.
- A dentist is a general practitioner that treats the common issues related to your gums, teeth, and mouth. On the other hand, orthodontists have specialized knowledge and skills in certain fields as mentioned before in the article.
- Dentists are not trained during studies on how to fit the braces and perform other orthodontic treatments, while the orthodontists are.
- Dentists provide general dental care to all age groups. Whereas, the Westport orthodontists provide orthodontic options for treatment to children and adults.
When do you need to Visit an Orthodontist?
If we talk about the early interceptive treatment, aligners, braces, etc. there is no chance that you skip away visiting a specialist. Your regular dentist plays an important role in maintaining oral health and performing routine check-ups, but you need an orthodontist this time.
Dentists and orthodontists work hand in hand as a team for providing effective results.
There are plenty of reasons you need to see an orthodontist, such as misaligned teeth, gap in teeth, crooked teeth, etc. Even when you have pain in the mouth while chewing because of bite issues or misaligned jaws, you can take the help of an orthodontist. One can also see an orthodontist in case of issues arising out of certain prolonged habits like thumb sucking in children.
They have the expertise, knowledge, and skills to diagnose the orthodontic issues, improve your teeth health, and monitor the teeth’ movement.
There are several tools used by an orthodontist to fix the alignment problem in your teeth. Out of which, braces are the most popular option.
Taking the Appointment with an Orthodontist
Visiting an orthodontist is almost similar to going to a dentist. However, you may receive an orthodontist referral by your family dentist certainly because of an alignment issue in your teeth. The orthodontist inspects your mouth thoroughly to provide the best possible treatment.
You may also expect return visits again and again for specific types of treatments like braces.
However, seeing a dentist on the first hand is the right option if you are looking to straighten your teeth. He may advise whether you need to see an orthodontist specialist or you need an invisalign treatment. It may depend upon your case.
Visiting an orthodontist means visiting a dental expert and you can be assured about it. The orthodontist works in your best interest in order to provide you the best possible and healthier smile. However, you should be aware of the fact that you have to wear a metal headgear, aligners, or braces for a certain period of time.
An orthodontist has the right skills and know-how on the latest orthodontic technology. So next time you have a certain dental condition that confused you earlier, you would be ready to book an appointment with the orthodontist specialist without any doubt.