What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist and why should you care?
Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth and gums, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.
A question people often ask is, “Can my dentist give me braces?” The simple answer is no.
Orthodontists and dentists undertake the same training initially, but orthodontists complete further training after they graduate dental school to become qualified in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orthodontic problems. Orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, and fitting them for braces and other corrective devices. The benefits of having an orthodontist work on your smile goes beyond just having a beautiful smile. Well-aligned teeth make it possible to bite, chew and speak effectively.
Not everyone needs to have orthodontic treatment, but it may be required if you have any of the following issues:
Overbites: When your front teeth stick out over your lower teeth, you have an overbite.
Underbites: When lower teeth extend too far forward and your top teeth are too far back, you have an underbite.
Crossbites: When the upper teeth do not come down in front of the lower teeth properly, it creates an improper bite, or crossbite.
Spacing issues: These include gaps or spaces between your teeth.
Crowding: When there are too many teeth for a limited amount of space, you can experience crowding.
Misplaced midlines: This occurs when the centers of your upper and lower teeth are not aligned.