Are orthodontist and dentist the same?

A dentist is a doctor trained to specialize in the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. Orthodontists are also dentists, but their specialty in dentistry focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, which is the way teeth come into contact with each other, and the straighteness of the teeth. To understand a fundamental difference between dental care and orthodontics, you should know that not all dentists are orthodontists, but all orthodontists are dentists. General dentists are highly qualified professionals who care about the overall health, well-being, and beauty of your smile.

Orthodontists are dentists who have received additional education to specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting teeth and jaws that are out of position. Orthodontists and dentists share a lot of similarities: they work together to help you improve your overall oral health, but they actually work in very different ways. Dentists cover a wide range of oral health issues. An orthodontist, on the other hand, is a dental specialist who focuses on issues such as straightening teeth and correcting inadequate bite patterns.

When it comes to dentist versus orthodontist, it's simple. A dentist can perform cleanings, fillings, crowns, etc. You can choose to practice as a general dentist or dedicate yourself to a specialty such as orthodontics, which requires additional training, explains the California Association of Orthodontists (CAO). Similarly, a dentist can provide braces or aligners to move the teeth, but that doesn't mean the dentist is an orthodontist.

Because alignment problems are unique to each patient, orthodontists use x-rays and photographs of the teeth to create individualized treatment plans, the AAO notes. In addition, the dentist examines the inside of the mouth for signs of oral diseases and gives you advice on how to maintain oral health. Your dentist can help you improve the health of your gums so that you can avoid potential heart health problems in the future. For dentists who wish to complete the three-year orthodontic specialist degree, they can return to the university after their two years of clinical experience.

The AHPRA recognizes 12 other types of dental specialists, including pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, endodontics, dentomaxillofacial radiology, periodontics and forensic dentistry, to name a few. In some states, dentists may provide some orthodontic treatments, such as braces, in addition to their general dental services, the AAO notes. Basically, if you have any problems related to the alignment of your teeth, jaws, or bite, an orthodontist can help. An orthodontist is the person to go to, since they know how to diagnose temporomandibular joint problems and find out what is causing the pain.

The more you know about the difference between orthodontists and dentists, the better prepared you'll be to choose the dental professional that best fits your needs. Some would say that the most important services that dentists provide to the oral health of their patients are to prevent cavities, infections and abscesses, which require more invasive treatments through routine cleanings and comprehensive patient education. This is a critical point and one of the “Competencies and Skills” described by the Dental Board of Australia to be recognized as a specialist orthodontist. Orthodontists will display the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) or Orthodontics Australia logo in the office or on their website.

Both a DDS and a DMD mean the same thing: the dentist has graduated from an accredited dental school. .

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