All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists. Find out the difference between the two.

The connection between a dentist and an orthodontist is they both want to improve their patient’s oral health. They are medical professionals who resolve issues with an individual’s teeth. So, what are the differences between the two? Truthfully, the way they deliver oral care sets apart these two fields of expertise.

This blog will explain the differences between the two oral doctors. These dissimilarities might seem elusive to folks who aren’t familiar with dental wording. However, it is crucial to be aware of these differences to guarantee that you know whether to call a dentist in Littleton, CO, or an orthodontist the next time you have a tooth problem.

Dentist Explained

A dentist is an oral care professional who maintains your healthy smile for a lifetime. You should see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings, as well as any dental problems that might surface. It’s smart to make an appointment with your dentist every six months.

While continuous, thorough oral health is your dentist’s main concern, some treatments help you possess that pearly, white smile you desire. Typical services offered by a dentist include:

  • Cavity treatments/Tooth-colored fillings
  • Gum disease treatments
  • TMJ treatments
  • Dental X-rays
  • Wisdom teeth extractions
  • Preventive treatments
  • Tooth extractions
  • Root canals
  • Emergency dental services

Orthodontist Explained

An orthodontist is a dentist that continued their training for approximately three years, focusing only on tooth and jaw alignment.  Orthodontists are highly qualified to deliver effective treatments for straightening your teeth and correcting your bite.  A dentist working alongside an orthodontist provides the best comprehensive dental health for your gums, jaw, teeth, and nerves in your mouth.

An orthodontist specializes in the alignment of teeth and jaws using non-surgical methods. Typical cases that are usually referred to an orthodontist include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Teeth spaced too far apart
  • Under and overbites

During your orthodontist visit, your bite is evaluated to determine if you require orthodontic treatment. Based on your case, you could get a recommendation to wear retainers, get braces, or explore other corrective treatment options.

Fixing crooked teeth isn’t just a trivial concern. Misaligned teeth could contribute to more severe issues, like a speech impediment or lockjaw.

Should You See an Orthodontist or Dentist?

You can think of your dentist as a general physician and your orthodontist as a medical specialist. The dental problems that can be diagnosed and treated with a trip to the dentist include:

  • Tooth repair
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth pain
  • Oral inflammation and infections

A dentist offers services for a vast range of oral health problems such as a broken tooth, cavities, and gum disease. An orthodontist is a dentist that continued their training for an additional three years, focusing on tooth and jaw alignment.  An orthodontist only does orthodontics, making this doctor the most qualified to deliver the best comprehensive treatment for straightening your teeth.

When it comes to dentists and orthodontists, both oral care professionals work diligently to ensure their patients have beautiful, healthy smiles. There might be a time when your dentist refers you to an orthodontist. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation to assess your dental care needs.