When you want to keep up your oral health, knowing where to turn is the first step to treatment. However, it isn’t just a matter of finding any dentist and calling up for an appointment. There are different specialists within dentistry, and patients will need to figure out what their needs are in order to find the right specialist. Orthodontics is one common field within dentistry that many patients turn to.

How Are Orthodontists and Dentists Similar?

Both dentistry and orthodontics require educational backgrounds in dental school. Both kinds of doctors must complete a four year long doctoral program. Those graduates can begin working in dentistry, or they can continue schooling in order to obtain credentials in orthodontics. A regular dentist usually undergoes eight years of higher schooling, while an orthodontist undergoes around 10 or 11 years of schooling.

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Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry; all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. An Annapolis orthodontist would need additional schooling in order to obtain the right license in orthodontics.

An Orthodontist Versus a Regular Dentist.

While orthodontics and dentistry appear to be similar in that they are both fields that deal with oral health, the two should not be mixed up. Dentistry is a broad medical field that attempts to improve teeth, gums, and the jaw. Orthodontics focuses on teeth straightening, bite correction and getting rid of blood vessel blockage.

What is Performed Under Dentistry?

So as a patient, which one should you go with? It all depends on your oral health needs. Dentists tend to cover broader the areas within dentistry. They will perform check-ups, cleanings and other actions that help your overall dental outlook. If you are experiencing tooth decay, a regular dentist should be able to help you out. A dentist will also perform root canals, fillings, bridges, crown installations, veneer installations to protect teeth, and teeth whitening. A dentist is also appropriate for someone suffering from gum disease.

What is Performed Under Orthodontics? 

An orthodontist, on the other hand, can help straighten a patient’s crooked teeth. An orthodontist can fix overbites, underbites, crossbites, and overcrowded teeth. Orthodontist also specializes in treating temporomandibular disorders (otherwise known as TMD). TMD involves problems with the jaw.

Orthodontists specialize in creating braces, wires, retainers and other corrective appliances that will help with the alignment of teeth or jaws.

How to Get an Orthodontist?

As a patient, you can request for an orthodontist from your local dentist’s office. Many patients who visit the dentist for a check up are referred to an orthodontist for further treatment.


By Skyler West

Piper Skyler West: Piper, a sports medicine expert, shares advice on injury prevention, athletic performance, and sports health tips.