Many people are familiar with the terms dentist and orthodontist, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily understand what distinguishes these professionals from one another.
While both provide dental services, the type of treatment and the extent of insight they possess is not the same.
To learn more about orthodontics versus dentists, reach out to our local dental practice today! Our staff will be happy to help you with all your questions.
Discussed in detail below are some frequently asked questions to help you better understand the realm of dentistry and the specializations that it entails.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
Dentists and orthodontists are both health care professionals who tend to your teeth.
A dentist is someone who treats a wide range of general oral health issues including cavities, plaque and tartar buildup, inflammation, infection, and sensitivity.
They help educate patients of all ages about how to prevent problems from arising and how to maintain good oral hygiene. They work closely with dental hygienists, technicians, and families.
They must have obtained an undergraduate degree and completed a certified dental program.
Orthodontics are those who practice and provide more advanced dental care.
Education-wise, they have an undergrad degree, have completed a recognized dentistry program, and then acquired an additional 2-3 years of specialized training that centers around head, neck, and facial anatomy.
What is an orthodontist?
This mainly encompasses straightening crooked and overlapping teeth and alleviating issues that harm your ability to eat.
Braces, whether lingual, traditional, ceramic, or clear aligners, are common solutions that they administer. They are also qualified to diagnose and treat Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and can provide retainers and other mouth guards too.
For more information about this, contact an orthodontist near you.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and an endodontist?
Like an orthodontist, an endodontist is also a dental professional that practices specialized care. Their services focus on assessing and treating issues that involve the pulp of your tooth.
The pulp is essentially the inner core of your tooth; it’s a fleshy sac where connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels come together to deliver nutrients, minerals, and blood to keep your tooth alive.
When an oral infection progresses, it can spread to your pulp, causing you to experience severe pain and sensitivity, especially when you’re eating or drinking things that are noticeably hot and cold.
If this occurs, you’ll most likely need to undergo a root canal – a procedure that involves scraping out the damaged pulp and sealing up your tooth to prevent it from experiencing further harm.
Endodontists perform root canal therapy.
What does an orthodontist do?
For your convenience, let’s break down the responsibilities and duties of an orthodontist even further. Noted below are just some of the conditions that orthodontists may face:
- Overcrowding. This is quite a common problem, especially when it comes to providing care to kids and young adults. Braces are often recommended in this instance.
- Irregular bite patterns. This includes overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
- Damage to your jaw, whether it’s unaligned or the joints themselves are strained or weak.
- Crooked teeth.
- Teeth that are spaced too far apart.
It’s important to remember that the extent of care that you receive from your orthodontist differs from patient to patient.
If you’re looking to receive treatment, your orthodontist will have you come in for a consultation so they can better understand your situation.
They will closely assess the state of your oral health through a physical evaluation of your teeth and gums, in addition to having x-rays taken. Your dental history and preferences will be discussed too.
At the end of your visit, they will be able to tell whether you’re an ideal candidate for orthodontic treatment.
Why should I visit an orthodontic specialist?
Even though such services are available to anyone, not everybody should or needs to see an orthodontic specialist! We’re all different and our oral health needs are different.
With that said, there are many reasons why, and by extension, many advantages, to visiting an orthodontist in Phoenix besides just straightening your teeth and correcting your bite. They are as follows:
- They can help address facial imbalances.
This refers to having top front teeth that don’t line up in the center of your mouth nor do they align with your bottom front teeth. As a result, this can lead to serious and prolonged jaw strain, bite problems, and facial pain.
- Teeth grinding.
Also called bruxism, this largely occurs when we sleep. Grinding and clenching can wear down our teeth and cause unnecessary stress on our teeth and jaw.
- Sleeping problems.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that’s caused by pauses in your breathing while you sleep. Though multiple factors can contribute to its development, in some instances, it can be due to unaligned teeth and jaw joints.
A large majority of people will need to wear a retainer following orthodontic treatment. The purpose of this device is to ensure that your teeth don’t move out of position after they’ve been straightened.
Your orthodontist will take impressions of your smile and send them to the dental lab to create a retainer that’s customized to fit you properly.
Are you interested in learning more? Contact your general dentist when you can. They will be able to put you in touch with an orthodontist who will provide you with a more in-depth explanation of their services and how they can be tailored to suit your needs and preferences.
How to find a specialist orthodontist near me?
Looking to meet with an orthodontist near you? Well, look no further than E&S Orthodontics.
Our friendly, skilled team – which consists of dentists, dental hygienists, administrative personnel, and dental specialists – is excited to welcome you and your family to our dental clinic.
The moment you step inside our doors you join our family. Regardless of the degree of treatment that you require, we’ll be able to assist you and get your smile back to where it should be.
A functional smile is a beautiful smile, and this is something that everyone deserves to have and be proud to show off when meeting with friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
You can also check out this dentist in Concord if you’re living in North Carolina.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!