Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist
Dentists and orthodontists differ in their education, oral care practice and specialisation
- Dentists have a broad spectrum of specialty whereas orthodontists have a more focused specialty
- All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists
- Orthodontists require education beyond dental school, dentists do not
- Dentists focus on tooth decay and good oral hygiene, orthodontists focus on teeth and bite alignment and the crowding of teeth
Dentists and orthodontists help people improve their oral health through various treatments and screenings. The difference is how they assist their patients in accomplishing favourable oral-health outcomes. Dentists have a broad spectrum of specialties whereas orthodontists are more focused on correcting bites, occlusion and teeth straightening. There is one other important distinction, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. While they both focus on the oral care of their patients, the difference is where they specialise that care. Here is how dentists and orthodontists differ from each other and the care they provide their patients.
Orthodontists focus on oral care related to misaligned teeth, crowding of the teeth and bite alignment. Orthodontists are dentists that went through more schooling beyond dental school in their specialised area. This means that beyond dental school, the orthodontist continued schooling in teeth and bite alignment and teeth straightening. Orthodontists are dentists; however, they have chosen to focus on certain aspects of oral care and health. Orthodontist will use certain devices, such as braces, to help their patients. Many orthodontic patients are referred to orthodontists through dentists. One can suppose from this that orthodontists and dentists benefit from and work with each other for providing optimal and favourable oral care and health outcomes to their patients.
On the other hand, dentists have not gone into specialisation or further schooling beyond dental school. They have a broad range of specialties that encompasses many aspects of oral care and health. Dentists are focused on things such as tooth decay, crowns, gum disease and promoting good oral hygiene in their patients. Dentists who encounter patients with issues such as misaligned teeth will refer these patients to orthodontists. This is because issues such as these are out of the dentist’s scope of practice. Dentists will often work with orthodontists to promote good oral health in their patients, even if such issues are out of their area of specialisation.
Dentists and orthodontists differ in the areas of oral care that they specialise in. Though they do differ from each other, they often help each other in achieving optimum oral health in their patients. Orthodontists go beyond dental school to hone in on areas such as tooth alignment and teeth straightening. Dentists do not go beyond dental school and have a broad scope of practice in oral care such as teeth whitening and promoting good oral hygiene. Orthodontists are trained to use specialty equipment such as braces to assist their patients in achieving optimum oral health. Dentists provide a spectrum of treatments that allow patients to achieve ideal oral health. This is how dentists and orthodontists differ from each other in their required education, oral care practice and specialisation in oral care and health for their patients.