General Dentist vs. Orthodontist: Who to Go to?

Orthodontist Treating Patient

Is There Really a Difference?

You know you need to see a professional about your oral health, but who do you go to – a dentist or an orthodontist? This is a common question, and an important one to ask. If you want to get the very best care possible, it’s essential that you see the right kind of doctor. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you make informed choices about your oral health.

What is a Dentist?

A dentist is kind of like a general practitioner for your mouth. They teach you about good oral health and partner with you to keep your teeth and gums healthy, white, and pain-free throughout your lifetime. They most commonly help patients with problems like these:

Since you need to get your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year, and more severe oral health problems typically appear at some point in a person’s life, it’s important to form a relationship with a good dentist. Their guidance can go a long way towards protecting your teeth and gums.

What is An Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialized kind of dentist. They receive the same training in oral health but take it a step further to focus specifically on alignment issues. That means an orthodontist is also a dentist, but a dentist is not an orthodontist. Typically, patients visit an orthodontist when they need help with these kind of problems:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Underbite

Not everyone will need to see an orthodontist in their lifetime. Alignment issues are common but not guaranteed. Orthodontists can perform many of the same basic treatments and procedures as dentists, but since they have specialized skills they typically only see patients with alignment issues.

What is the Difference?

It’s important to realize that both dentists and orthodontist are oral health professionals that play a crucial role in the lifelong health of your smile. But orthodontists have 2 more years of schooling and lots of extra training in treating alignment issues. That’s why it’s so important to see an orthodontist when you have issues that only an orthodontist is qualified to treat. Even though general dentists are oral health experts and spend a lot of time working inside people’s mouth’s, they aren’t qualified to straighten out your smile.

Find All the Help you Need at The Happy Tooth

You don’t have to puzzle over dentist vs. orthodontist when you work with The Happy Tooth. That’s because we have both on our staff, and all of our doctors work as a team to ensure you get the very best care possible. Make one call to our offices and know that all your oral care needs are taken care of.

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