Difference Between Orthodontist and Dentist

You have probably been to the dentist many times and maybe still go to that professional regularly. But what about the orthodontist? Have you consulted with one or at least know their role?

Although this specialist's objective is also related to the maintenance of oral health, it is important to remember that he or she performs different functions from a general dentist or dental surgeon, keeping the focus on other concerns. Furthermore, their level of expertise is also different. When looking for a dental office, it is normal to be in doubt about which professional is best suited to treat our case. Few people know that there are several different types of specialization in dentistry, and it can be overwhelming at first.

For example, although all dentists and orthodontists take care of oral health, each area has more in-depth knowledge of certain structures in the mouth. In order to help you know exactly which professional to look for and thus have the most appropriate treatment, we explain the difference between these two areas of activity.

What is a dentist?

The dentist is the professional responsible for the health care of the teeth and mouth. The professional graduated in Dentistry can engage in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the most diverse diseases and oral alterations.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who deals with the positioning of teeth and facial bones, also working with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of changes in the positioning of these structures.

What is the difference between dentist and orthodontist?

Orthodontists and dentists are dentistry professionals. Dentist is the name applied to any and all professionals who graduate in Dentistry. Orthodontist is the classification of those who are specialized in Orthodontics. Orthodontists are also dentists. It works more or less like medical specialties like cardiology, pediatrics, gynecology, etc.; all are doctors, but they work in different areas.

Dentists and Orthodontists have the same training. That is, both they and specialists in periodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry, and others are trained in dentistry. As with doctors, these professionals have basic training in general practice and can seek specializations in certain areas. So, every dentist is a dentist. In this sense, a generalist dentist or dental surgeon takes care of the general health of the mouth, that is, treats low-complexity problems, such as cavities and gingivitis. In addition, it also acts in dental prophylaxis, tooth extraction and giving basic recommendations to patients. In general, the dentist is the first professional to be sought, as in addition to basic treatments, they can refer the patient to the appropriate specialist, if necessary. In turn, the orthodontist is the dentist who specializes in orthodontics, which is correcting the position of the teeth and fitting the bite. Typically, treatment is done through orthodontic appliances.

When should I see an orthodontist?

It is important to highlight that only a dentist is able to diagnose whether or not you need treatment with an orthodontist. Through clinical and imaging exams, he will assess your dental structure and, in the case of a dental surgeon, will refer you to an orthodontist so that he can analyze your case and start the most appropriate treatment.

The main problems that lead a person to need braces are:
* overbite — the upper teeth cover almost all of the lower teeth;
* diastema — gaps or gaps between teeth;
* crowding - the arch is too small and the teeth are not straight;
* open bite - there is space between the biting surfaces of the anterior or lateral teeth when the posterior teeth come together;
* anterior crossbite - the lower arch is too far forward or the upper arch is located too far back;
* cross bite - the upper arch is not slightly ahead of the lower arch when making the chewing movement;
* midline deviation — the center of the upper arch is not aligned with that of the lower.
For each case there is a type of treatment, which can be performed with the following device models:
* mobile appliances (levelers, lip and cheek buffers, space maintainers, jaw repositioners, palatal expanders, holders and headgears);
* braces;
* special fixed apparatus;
* fixed space maintainer.

Now that you know the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist, you certainly know which professional is best suited for your case. When in doubt, always look for a trusted dental surgeon so that he can indicate the ideal specialist for you and, in addition, do not give up a good dental plan to maintain your oral health.

Choosing an Orthodontist

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