When you go to see someone to have your teeth examined or to have a procedure regarding your teeth, there are two kinds of doctors you will see. One is a dentist and the other, an orthodontist. They both can treat tooth problems, but it is important to understand that they can deal with different aspects of your mouth. A dentist is concerned with your dental, gum, and jaw health. Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that is concerned with fixing uneven teeth also known as a malocclusion. All orthodontists are certified as dentists but not all dentists are trained to be orthodontists. Should you need the services of an orthodontist, your dentists will make a referral to an orthodontist if they do not have the proper licensure.
In what ways are they similar?
Both orthodontists and dentist work with teeth and ensure that your mouth is healthy. They will perform procedures that involve treating the teeth and gums. They have both undergone training at dentistry school to obtain certification to treat your smile. Dentists and orthodontists both perform their work in an office and do not need a surgical room.
How are they different?
There is a vast difference between the kind work that dentists and orthodontists do. Even though they work with your teeth, the nature of their procedures varies. The dentist is concerned with issues such as
- Tooth disease and decay
- Fixing root canals
- Preventing periodontal disease
- Placing crowns
- Creating and placing porcelain veneers
When you go to visit a dentist, they will usually clean your mouth and check for cavities and gum disease. They may take x-rays of your smile and jaw bone to screen for any signs of trouble. During your cleaning, they will remove any plaque and tarter that may have built up in between visits. They can teach you how to prevent diseases through proper dental hygiene. If you are concerned about any issues regarding cavities, poor gum health, and techniques to keep your mouth clean, a dentist is the right practitioner to visit. In the case of multiple cavities or extensive decay, your dentist can perform a root canal or place a crown. They are licensed surgeons and perform such kinds of procedures.
If you suffer from conditions such as:
- A crooked smile
- An overbite or underbite
- An inability to chew food due to teeth misalignment
- Or wish to have your smile evaluated for correct alignment smile alignment
you should see a local orthodontist for an appointment. Orthodontists require extra training to become certified to perform their specialized work, while a dentist only needs to attend dentistry school. Your dentist may recommend that if you have a child nearing the age of 7, you should take them to the orthodontist for an examination. Even though your dentist may not suspect anything is wrong, it takes an orthodontist’s skilled eye to diagnose orthodontic problems.
Some of the frequent treatment modalities they use include:
- Metal braces
- Clear braces
- Lingual or hidden braces
- Dentofacial orthopedics
During your initial evaluation, they may recommend one of those treatments depending on your bite. They may take molds and x-rays so that they can customize a treatment plan to correct your smile. In addition, they can rectify problems such as temporomandibular disorders and jaw development disorders. During the time that you see your orthodontist, you can continue seeing your dentist. It is important to visit a dentist because cleaning your teeth may be more difficult due to the extra metal and wires.
They will ensure that your gums and teeth remain healthy during your orthodontic work.
Regardless of whether you need straightening, you should visit the dentist at least three times a year for checkups because dental hygiene requires constant monitoring. These doctors are the ones who will ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy and disease free. Should you require the services of an orthodontist at some point for straightening, the dentist can make a referral for orthodontic services.