What is the Distinction Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

Quck answer


– General oral health care provider

– Diagnoses and treats dental problems

– Performs routine cleanings, fillings, and extractions

– Can provide cosmetic dentistry services


– Specializes in correcting teeth and jaw alignment

– Treats crooked teeth, overcrowding, and bite issues

– Uses braces, aligners, and other appliances to straighten teeth

– Monitors growth and development of teeth and jaws

In summary, while dentists focus on overall oral health, orthodontists specialize in correcting teeth and jaw alignment issues. Dentists provide routine oral care, while orthodontists offer specialized treatment for alignment problems.

Do you enjoy assisting others? If so, perhaps you have aspirations of becoming a teacher or a firefighter. Maybe you would prefer to be a doctor or a cosmetologist. Alternatively, you may have a passion for working in oral health. If that’s the case, you might be interested in one of the professions we are discussing today!

Have you ever visited a dentist or an orthodontist? If you have, you know that both of them help individuals take care of their teeth. Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining good health. After all, how could we enjoy nutritious foods without our teeth? Everyone needs to see a dentist occasionally. However, the same cannot be said for orthodontists. Why not? What is the difference between these two medical professionals?

A dentist is a primary dental care provider. Your dentist is responsible for overseeing your overall oral health. They conduct regular checkups and diagnose problems. They also treat issues such as cavities. People may visit a dentist for fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, and root canals.

How does someone become a dentist? First, they graduate from high school and attend college. There, they earn an undergraduate degree, such as a B.S. (Bachelor of Science). After college, they enroll in a four-year dental school program. By the end of their studies, they will obtain either a D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. These degrees are equivalent, the name simply varies depending on the school.

What about orthodontists? They are specialists in oral healthcare who primarily focus on the treatment of crooked teeth and malocclusions, also known as “bad bites.” These conditions typically result from crowded, missing, or extra teeth, or misaligned jaws.

Orthodontists align teeth and treat “bad bites” using various methods. They may utilize braces, retainers, wires, and bands. These devices move the teeth through the jawbones to help achieve alignment.

How does one become an orthodontist? They also earn an undergraduate degree and then attend dental school. Therefore, all orthodontists are dentists. However, not all dentists are orthodontists. To become an orthodontist, one must undergo specialized training, which includes a two- or three-year residency program in orthodontics.

Whether you aspire to be a dentist or an orthodontist, you can expect to undergo extensive education. Most dentists spend eight years in post-secondary education, while most orthodontists spend 10-11 years. And for good reason! These medical professionals require comprehensive training to effectively promote people’s well-being.

Give It a Try

Do you think you would ever consider becoming a dentist when you grow up? Make sure to explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

Considering a Career in Dentistry

Have you ever thought about pursuing a career as a dentist or an orthodontist? Are you willing to invest the time and effort required for extensive education? It’s essential to contemplate your future and envision your life 4, 8, or even 12 years after high school graduation. What aspects of dentistry attract you? Are there any potential drawbacks you anticipate? Engage in a discussion with a friend or family member to gain insights. If you find the idea of becoming a dentist intriguing, consult your own dentist during your next check-up to learn about their personal experiences.

Caring for Your Oral Health

Expand your knowledge on maintaining good oral health. Then, assess your current oral hygiene routines. Is there anything else you should consider incorporating into your regimen to ensure the health of your teeth?

Preparing for a Dentist Visit

Is it time for your next dental appointment? It’s common for many individuals to feel anxious about visiting the dentist. Understanding what to expect can help alleviate your worries. After reading about dentist visits, create a brochure that explains the process to other children. Remember to include visuals and at least five informative facts.

Wonder Sources

  • http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/oral-health-care-providers (accessed 24 Sept. 2020)
  • http://happytoothnc.com/dentist-vs-orthodontist/ (accessed 24 Sept. 2020)
  • http://www.smilesmadebeautiful.com/blog/2014/03/whats-the-difference-between-an-orthodontist-and-a-dentist (accessed 24 Sept. 2020)

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