The Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist

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Wanting to understand more about what an orthodontist does when compared to a dentist? There are definite differences between these two types of dental professionals. This makes it necessary for you to understand these differences so you can visit the type of professional who can ideally address your particular dental issue. An easy way to understand the differences? An orthodontist straightens your teeth while a dentist cleans and maintains them.

Differences between an orthodontist and a dentist

It is important to understand that all orthodontists are considered to be dentists, while only a small handful of dentists are also considered to be an orthodontist. When someone is in need of a dental appointment, they need to carefully determine the reason in order to make the correct type of dental appointment. The following list explains some of the more important differences between an orthodontist and a dentist.

Education and training

Both dental professionals will need to attend school in order to become a general dentist. They will first need to get their bachelor’s degree and then they can go on to dental school, which takes four years to complete. Upon graduation, a dentist can start their own dental practice as they now have a dental degree. An orthodontist will need to complete a residency program, which takes an additional two to three years of education.

Their overall focus

The overall focus of an orthodontist is to fix any alignment problems someone is currently dealing with as well as straighten their teeth. The additional years of education an orthodontist undergoes allows them to learn about the many options for straightening teeth available today. The overall focus of a dentist is to make sure that their patients' gums and teeth are in good health. This is why it is so essential to make regular appointments with a general dentist, as they can fix any dental problems before they get out of control.

What they treat

An orthodontist specifically treats misalignment problems with the teeth, misalignment problems with the jaw, crowded teeth problems, overbites and underbites. Their goal is to make sure that their patients experience no misalignment problems and to straighten the teeth when they are not in their proper position.

A dentist provides services that are specifically geared towards healthy teeth and healthy gums. This includes dental services like dental cleanings, cavity treatment, root canals, crowns and bridges.

Need to make an appointment with an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental professional who specifically addresses your teeth and jaw alignment problems. If you are currently experiencing bite problems, have crooked teeth, have large gaps in between your teeth and/or are experiencing any type of issues when chewing your food, then making an appointment with an orthodontist will help you understand more about your dental problem. We invite you to contact our office today. The sooner you call us, the sooner you can find out what the solutions are to fix your particular dental issue.

Request an appointment here: or call You Smile Dental at (408) 361-8133 for an appointment in our Santa Clara office.

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