Orthodontist or Dentist?

blog pic1Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways.  Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with a wide variety of oral health issues including, hygiene, tooth and gum care and various decay and structural problems.  Orthodontics, meanwhile, focuses on the alignment of teeth and jaws, using non-surgical solutions to correct improper positioning.  One important difference is that all orthodontists like Dr. Hage, are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists. 

How are they similar?

The main similarity between a dentist and an orthodontist is that they both focus on oral health.  So in this respect, they are quite similar.  They are both doctors that deal with teeth and gums.

How are they different? 

Orthodontics is one of nine dental specialties and requires additional schooling; the situation is similar to a doctor who obtains additional schooling to become a surgeon.  Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth by fitting them for corrective braces and devices.  If a patient has an overbite (among many other things), a dentist will refer him or her to an orthodontist.

Dentists typically provide services related to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canals
  • Gum Disease
  • Crowns and Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth Whitening

Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the alignment of teeth and provide services related to:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

What an orthodontist can help with:

Orthodontists help with crowded teeth, but they assist patients with other issues as well.  These include overbites, underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders.   Additional problems with the jaw also need to be treated by an orthodontist.

While a dentist may provide orthodontic care in addition to extractions trusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different procedures you require.

To learn more about the difference between dentists and orthodontists, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Hage.  Please give the Hage Orthodontics team a call at any of our convenient Mattoon, Effingham or Forsyth offices.

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