10 Jan Dentist vs Orthodontist
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DENTIST AND AN ORTHODONTIST?
You’ve probably been going to your dentist for years now, and at some point he or she referred you to an orthodontist. You may be wondering why a dentist doesn’t do orthodontics, or what differentiates an orthodontist from other dentists?
-All dental specialists were first trained as general dentists. Regardless of specialty, all US-trained dentists graduated from dental school with either a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) or a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). The majority of dental schools are 4 year programs during which all dentists are trained to improve oral health care.
However, there are some differences.
-Specialists spend an additional 2-4 years in their speciality training. Orthodontists, for example, continue their education in an orthodontic residency for an additional 3 years after 4 years of dental school.
-Orthodontists focus on straightening teeth and achieving an ideal bite.
The types of dental services provided are quite different for a general dentist vs an orthodontist. While general dentists maintain oral health by removing tooth decay and restoring teeth, orthodontists primarily focus on aligning teeth and bringing them into a harmonious relationship.
-Dental providers work together in the best interest of the patient. For example, a general dentist may refer a patient to an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign, while continuing to see that same patient for regular cleanings and dental exams. An orthodontist may also refer a patient to a general dentist to fill a cavity prior to starting orthodontic treatment.
To learn more about the difference between dentists and orthodontists, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Mathrani, please contact Spring Orthodontics at (708) 505-2525.