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What Makes an Orthodontist Different than a Dentist?

Posted on November 10, 2022

Orthodontists and dentists both work on the teeth of patients, but they have very different purposes and ways of practicing their art. According to Colgate, going into orthodontics generally means more than 10 years of training. Dentists often don’t take as long as orthodontists unless they take on specialties such as dental implants or other surgeries.

Orthodontists need a lot of training to understand how to get teeth straighter and move them in other ways so that people have a good outcome. Orthodontics is generally a field that isn’t the first go-to for patients. Patients virtually always see a dentist first and get referred to an orthodontist for care that goes beyond what a dentist is able to do for them.

What Does a Dentist Do?

Dentists are the first go-to for patients who want to keep their teeth healthy. They perform regular dental exams and deep cleanings for patients every six months. During this time they look for problems such as cavities, infections, abscesses, broken teeth, cracks, improper brushing, etc. They also perform treatments like filling in cavities, using dental bonding to fix teeth, placing crowns over teeth, performing root canals, and more. They will also look over the patient’s bite and see how well it aligns. When the teeth don’t align well, the dentist will refer the patient to an orthodontist who can move their teeth into better positions.

What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Orthodontists practice orthodontics, or the moving of the teeth. There are many people who have teeth that aren’t in good alignment, this can mean trouble eating and talking, and even cause embarrassment. An orthodontist can use a method such as braces or clear aligners to apply slow pressure to the teeth that move them over time. It may take years to move them into the ideal positions so that the teeth are straight and the smile looks great.

There are many different types of braces today that can be used anywhere from a few weeks to years at a time. The type the patient needs and the amount of time that they are needed will depend on the position of the teeth, the age of the patient, which teeth need repositioning, and how much they need to be moved. If a patient needs orthodontics, they will also need to continue to see their dentist to get their results from dental checkups, cleanings, and any necessary treatments. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist.

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Spokane, WA 99218

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