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What Is The Difference Between An Orthodontist & A Dentist?

by Crichigno Orthodontics on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 5:26 AM

Here at Crichigno Orthodontics, we strive to inform all of our patients about optimal oral health. When trying to decide if orthodontic treatment is for you, it is important to first understand what orthodontists can provide that general dentists often do not. We are happy to provide this information on what makes each profession different from the other. Should you decide that orthodontic treatment is the right route for you, we are always able to answer further questions at our Hamilton/Stoney Creek and Oakville offices.

Defining The Differences

Many people do not fully understand the difference between orthodontists and dentists, and we don’t blame them, as both groups of professionals work with teeth. Even though our practices do not offer routine dental treatment, we have a great working relationship with our referring dentists and know that our work would be undermined without them. Dentists help our patients maintain good oral health so we can better do our job. After all, your oral health care is a TEAM effort!

Many dentists today advertise that they have the know-how and technology needed to straighten teeth. However, before a patient agrees to undergo orthodontic treatment provided by a general dentist, it's important to know the difference between a general dentist and an orthodontist.

What Determines A Dentist?

A dentist is a health care professional who has successfully completed dental school and has been trained to treat problems affecting the teeth and gums. They focus their work on providing dental treatment to patients with problems like tooth decay, gum disease and missing teeth. Dentists always emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene to assist their patients in improving their overall dental health. Dentists also encourage their patients to come in for regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings.

Outlining Orthodontists

Orthodontists are dentists too! They are highly trained specialists who have undergone 2 to 3 years of additional education following dental school in accredited orthodontic residency programs. The additional educational training an orthodontist receives concentrates on growth, development, diagnosis and treatment of all types of malocclusions or “bad bites”.

Orthodontics is a very specialized field of dentistry that diagnoses, prevents and treats irregularities of the teeth and face. Orthodontic treatment often involves the use of appliances such as fixed braces and removable aligners – both of which are designed to gently and gradually move teeth into the desired position. These types of orthodontic appliances can straighten teeth, correct irregular bites, close gaps between teeth and bring teeth & lips into proper balance.

Understanding The Orthodontic Expertise

Orthodontists have acquired the knowledge needed to understand tooth and jaw alignment and how to best treat these types of issues. These professionals spend years studying how the teeth and jaws work in unison. They've dedicated their careers to ensuring their patients have bites that work properly so they can eat, speak and chew comfortably.

While a dentist may offer his/her patients braces, it's recommended to obtain orthodontic treatment from an orthodontist. An orthodontist knows that every mouth is unique and that every patient requires customized treatment. Once an orthodontist has provided a first-time patient with a thorough exam, a treatment plan will be carefully developed for that patient with the goal of helping the person obtain a healthy, straight, and beautiful smile designed to last a lifetime.

In a nutshell, dentists are experts at helping patients keep their teeth healthy. Orthodontists are experts at moving teeth, diagnosing jaw problems and ensuring that teeth stay in their correct locations once they've been moved.

Come Visit Your Oakville & Hamilton Orthodontist!

Dr. Nick would like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting our blog on the difference between dentists and orthodontists. We believe that every patient should be fully knowledgeable on how we can help them. We encourage you to browse the rest of our website for more information on orthodontics including early treatment and adult treatment. Should you have any further questions about our practice or wish to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you smile!

Crichigno Orthodontics

Welcome to our blog! We will be using this space to share office news and information with you. We'll also be posting regular reading materials here which are related to the exciting world of orthodontics, so stop by often to see what's new!