Dentist vs Orthodontist | Advance Orthodontics Blog

What is the Difference Between a Dentist & an Orthodontist?

Sometimes bundled packages can be a good thing. Sadly, when they involve your teeth, they can be terribly misleading and end up costing you more. It’s hard to pass up a good two-for-one on anything, especially expensive procedures. Who wouldn’t want a free face lift with the purchase of a tummy tuck? Let the buyer beware, though, not all who practice are properly trained.

Would it be appropriate for a physician to perform a kidney transplant? The answer is quite simple. Not unless the practitioner has been properly trained, and certified as a surgeon. Obviously, when it comes to medical practice, consumers understand the need to seek certified specialists.

Your Mouth is Worth the Money

If a dental office offers options to move your teeth (like Invisalign or braces), are they actually properly trained to provide those treatments?

Going to the dentist is critical to oral health. Getting a check-up, having teeth cleaned and the occasional cavity filled are necessary to a healthy mouth. However, many dental practices offer services that should actually be performed by specialists.

Orthodontists specialize in the treatment of malocclusion (improper bite), growth and development of the jaws, and smile cosmetics. They often use braces or Invisalign to straighten teeth and improve the bite. Especially with Invisalign, however, the line in the consumer’s eye between a dentist and an orthodontist can easily become blurred.

Now general dentists’ offices can offer the straightening option as part of a package deal to the consumer while they have them in the office. Combining braces with a teeth cleaning at a seemingly discounted price can be an alluring prospect to someone who is already looking to straighten their smile. The customer can have a one-stop experience without the hassle of setting up another appointment with a specialist in a different office.

When a dentist offers you teeth straightening options, make sure that he or she is a certified orthodontic specialist. Specialists like orthodontists, oral surgeons, and endodontists go to an additional full-time residency program after dental school for 2-4 years to become specialists. This additional training qualifies them to provide specialty services. General dentists receive their “specialty training” mostly at weekend courses… it’s not the same!

Don’t skimp on a specialist. When it comes time to have your teeth moved, see a CERTIFIED ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST. Your general dentist is NOT an orthodontist!