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When You Should Visit an Orthodontist Instead of a Dentist

Posted on May 28, 2021

Teenage girl with the braces on her teeth is having a treatment at dentist

You clean your teeth daily, you maintain a proper diet, and you don’t indulge in sugary treats. There’s no need for you to visit a dentist, right? Wrong. Even if you do all those things, you should regularly visit the dentist. In fact, you should pay a visit to one at least twice a year. But sometimes you don’t need to see a dentist. You need to search for an “orthodontist near me” instead. But when should you visit the orthodontist? Keep reading to learn the differences between the two professions. Eventually, you’ll learn when you should visit an adult orthodontist instead of a dentist.

How Dentists and Orthodontists Are Similar

Both practitioners are doctors. Both also focus on one key thing – improving patients’ oral health. However, they achieve this result differently.

How Dentists and Orthodontists Are Different

Both medical practitioners focus on improving oral health, but there is one key difference between the two professions. While all orthodontists are trained dentists, only 5% of dentists are also orthodontists. Orthodontics is a specialized field in dentistry that requires more years of study. Typically, it takes two to three more years of schooling.

What the Two Professions Entail

When it comes to dental care, dentists are like primary care physicians. They focus on improving patients’ overall oral health. Generally, during check-ups, dentists detect and treat cavities and minor gum diseases like gingivitis. Dentists also focus on aesthetics by applying crowns, bridges, or veneers to restore beautiful smiles to patients’ faces. Finally, dentists also offer dental cleaning that can prevent teeth discoloration and the growth of bacteria that causes cavities.

Orthodontists, on the other hand, specialize in treating issues related to the alignment of teeth. Orthodontists treat issues such as misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, crowded teeth, gaping teeth, and misaligned jaws.

When to See an Orthodontist

The difference between the services offered by the two medical practitioners can be a bit blurry. In some regions, dentists are allowed to provide basic orthodontic services such as braces. So how do you know exactly when to visit a dentist instead of an orthodontist?

If you’re suffering from general dental issues such as a toothache or bleeding gums, book an appointment with your dentist.

However, if your teeth are misaligned, crowded, or your jaw is misaligned, see an orthodontist near you. They are trained to deal with such issues and can use orthodontic treatments such as braces and Invisalign to straighten misaligned teeth. You should also visit an orthodontist near you if you suffer from an overbite or underbite. Finally, if your speech is impaired or you struggle to chew food properly due to issues with your teeth, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.

Orthodontist Near Me

Are you looking for an “orthodontist near me?” We here at Best Smiles Orthodontics hope that we have helped to demystify the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist. If you have any questions about our services or you’re still unsure who to visit, contact us today. Our team that serves Orange City, Daytona Beach, and surrounding areas will be glad to answer queries concerning your dental health.