When caring for our health, we go to our regular GPs, and if needed, they refer us to different medical specialists. But what if our problem concerns our teeth? Who should we turn to, orthodontist vs dentist?
Orthodontist vs dentist: Who are they?
Dentists are general dental practitioners who studied and trained to care for our teeth. They perform general dental procedures such as teeth scaling and cleaning, fillings, and extraction, among others. They have years of experience up their sleeves to assess, diagnose, and treat general dental problems that we may have.
Orthodontists, on the other hand, are dental specialists who dedicate their attention and expertise to issues concerning our teeth and jaw alignment. They are registered general dentists who added three more years of University education to specialise in straightening our teeth. Orthodontic procedures include treatment with dental braces, aligners, retainers, or use of TMJ appliance.
Orthodontist vs dentist: Can they switch places?
Since orthodontists are general dentists as well, they are capable of performing routine and necessary dental procedures but would instead let the general dentists do the job for you. When you visit an orthodontist, and he finds out upon his assessment that dental fillings or cleaning is necessary, he would and could advise you to visit your general dentist to have these general procedures.
The same logic applies to dentists. General dentists nowadays practice orthodontic procedures as well. In fact, they offer these procedures to their patients while promising cheaper costs. However, if you will really be critical of their credibility, their skills and knowledge cannot measure up to those of registered orthodontists. Because of the additional years of education and experience orthodontists have, they are more capable of performing these procedures and should, therefore, be your specialist of choice.
To make it short, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.
Orthodontist vs Dentist: The conclusion
So, in cases of dental problems, who do we turn to? Orthodontist vs dentist?
The answer? Both, depending on your needs.
If you are having problems with your dental health and want to have preventive dental care procedures, turn to general dentists. They can even give you tips and advice on how to better care for your teeth. On the other hand, if your dental problems include your crooked, overcrowded teeth or issues concerning your jaw and the way you bite, seek the attention of an orthodontist. These dental experts are reliable in dealing with these types of problems and are experienced in performing orthodontic procedures that can help straighten your teeth and improve your overall dental and oral health.