People oftentimes interchange the terms “dentist” and “orthodontist”. This is the reason why most of the patients schedule appointments on the wrong clinics and thus, they end up being referred to other specialists. To make things clear, dentists and orthodontists are not the same. Orthodontists specialized in the field of orthodontics after they graduated from dentistry. This means that all orthodontists are dentists but only 5% of dentists are orthodontists. In order to have a clearer point of view with the two terms being discussed, read below for their detailed comparison and descriptions.
DentistryDentistry is a wide branch of medicine that involves the study as well as diagnosis and prevention of different diseases and conditions pertaining to oral health. The coverage of dentistry also includes the maxillofacial area, its adjacent structures, and the impact or effects they have on the human body. Dentistry is an essential part in achieving a good overall health of every person thus oral health concerns should not be taken lightly. The one who practices dentistry is called a dentist and the dentist’s supporting team consists of dental hygienist, dental assistants, dental therapist, and dental technicians.
The most common dental treatments in which dentists attend to includes tooth decay (dental carries) and gum disease (periodontal disease). They are commonly treated by extractions, dental fillings, or root canals. In severe cases, tooth extractions require surgery.
In order to become a dentist, you must complete at least two years of undergraduate studies or a bachelor’s degree. Once these requirements are completed, you must then undergo four years of dental schooling in order to qualify as a Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery. Furthermore, to be able to perform more complex treatments, one must undergo additional training in sedation, dental implants, and maxillofacial surgery.
OrthodonticsOn the other hand, orthodontics refers to the specialty of dentistry that involves the treatment, study, and diagnosis of tooth irregularity, malocclusions, or disproportionate jaws. Orthodontic treatments deal with modification and control of facial growth as well as dental displacements. Orthodontic treatments commonly utilized different appliances in order to correct teeth misalignments or jaw problems. Among these devices are palatal expanders and braces. Palatal expanders are used to correct disproportionate jaws. Basically, it helps in creating more space on the upper jaw for the crowded teeth to align properly and fit into the lower jaw teeth. Braces on the other hand focus on correcting the positions of teeth. It works by applying gentle pressure on the teeth through the appliances which moves the teeth over the course of the treatment.
Aside from the cosmetic benefits of orthodontic treatments, it can also help patients improve the functionality of their teeth in order to chew their food properly, speak fluently, or smile flawlessly. Coupled with the latest technology of clear and ceramic aligners, surely you can improve your smile without someone noticing you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment. Put into simple words, patients won’t have to sacrifice the look of their current smile in order to have a perfect one in the future.
Dentists vs. Orthodontists
Comparing dentists and orthodontists can be done easily as each of them has clear boundaries. Since orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry, this means that orthodontists can do everything that a dentist can do however dentists can’t do everything that orthodontists can do.
Hence, if you are looking for someone who can take care of both of your overall oral health as well as some teeth alignment problems, then orthodontists are the ones to approach. Always remember, all orthodontists are dentists but only 5% of dentists are orthodontists.
To see an orthodontist today, call 252-727-0020 or visit www.sanbornorthodontics.com for a complimentary consultation!!!