What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and Orthodontist?

Dec 27, 2023 | Orthodontic Expertise

Taking care of your smile is the key to a happier, healthier you. Yet, when it comes to choosing the perfect specialist for your unique needs, it can be a bit puzzling. Are you supposed to schedule an appointment with a dentist or an orthodontist?

Relax! You’re not alone in this dilemma. Many people have faced the same question! While both dentists and orthodontists contribute to the well-being of your teeth and gums, they specialize in different areas.

So, if you’re dreaming of achieving that perfect smile with braces or Invisalign, it’s important to know exactly who to turn to. But don’t worry at all – we’re here to guide you every step of the way! By understanding the differences between these two dental experts, you’ll be empowered to make the best decision for yourself and your beautiful smile. Let’s dive into the world of dental knowledge!

Knowing When to Visit Your Dentist for Lifelong Oral Health

While not everyone eagerly anticipates a visit to the dentist, these professionals are true oral health heroes for individuals of all ages. Dentists dedicate years to dental schooling, mastering preventive and restorative care for patients spanning from children to adults. Some further extend their training for specialized careers in fields such as pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, or endodontics.

General and pediatric dentists serve as the primary defense against common oral issues. Routine checkups

Kids playing volleyball with retainers

 and cleanings performed at the dentist’s office are pivotal in maintaining the optimal health and appearance of your teeth and gums. Dentists offer an array of crucial services, from thorough cleanings to procedures like fillings and extractions, ensuring a lifetime of a healthy, radiant smile.

What Makes an Orthodontist Special? 

While your dentist diligently maintains your oral health, what happens when your teeth or jaws don’t align as they should?

Enter the orthodontist. Following dental school, orthodontists pursue an additional two or more years of specialized education dedicated solely to orthodontic care. This intensive training—focusing extensively on teeth and jaw alignment—equips them with the expertise to achieve smile transformations beyond the scope of a dentist’s practice.

Their primary focus? Ensuring your smile not only looks impeccable but also feels comfortable and functions seamlessly. These specialists craft personalized treatment plans tailored specifically to your smile’s requirements. The outcome? A beautifully aligned smile, ready to be confidently showcased to the world!

Enhancing Your Dental Wellness With The Right Specialist

Caring for your teeth isn’t just about health—it’s also a boost for your confidence. But when should you head to a dentist versus an orthodontist? Dentists cover routine checkups, cleanings, and treatments like fluoride and cavity fillings. They handle tooth pain, gum issues, and extractions. On the flip side, orthodontists tackle more complex matters such as crooked teeth, jaw misalignments, and overbites/underbites (think braces and clear aligners!). They’re adept at early orthodontic care for kids and can address difficulties with eating, speaking, and even breathing!

If you’re unsure whom to turn to, both dentists and orthodontists are there for you. Their goal? Ensuring you always feel and look your absolute best!

Unlock Your Potential With Inspire Orthodontics

Feeling uncertain about who to trust for your smile transformation? Let us guide you! While a general dentist is crucial for daily oral care, an orthodontist is the key to achieving that flawlessly aligned smile.

Considering braces or clear aligners? It’s the perfect time to schedule your initial appointment at our office in Littleton, CO. Take the first step toward your dream smile by booking a free consultation today with our expert team at Inspire Orthodontics!