What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Orthodontists and dentists frequently work together. Both desire gorgeous, healthy smiles. Dentists care for many oral health issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, cracked teeth, and missing teeth. Orthodontists are dentists who have undergone an additional three years of specialized training in tooth and jaw alignment at a recognized university. Orthodontists are ideally suited to provide the most comprehensive and successful action plan for straightening your teeth because they specialize in this field. Working together, dentists and orthodontists can achieve the best overall dental health. Consumers should be aware of the following key differences between orthodontists and dentists to make informed decisions regarding their care:


  • Dentists obtain a general dental degree.
  • Similar to your family doctor, a general dentist is important for overall dental health. They provide a range of services, including dental cleanings and teeth whitening.
  • Dentists need to be given professional training in the use of clear aligners or the fitting of braces.
  • Patients who require orthodontic treatment are typically referred to qualified orthodontist experts by their dentists.


  • Prior to completing a three-year specialization program, orthodontic specialists receive a dental degree.
  • It is possible to improve orthodontic therapy’s efficacy while lessening the need for early intervention.
  • Orthodontists are specialists in maintaining proper jaw and tooth alignment.
  • Omaha orthodontist can assist you in making your treatment decision from a range of alternatives, like retainers, clear aligners, and traditional braces.
  • Most dental offices only carry one brand or style of aligners or braces.

Orthodontists or dentists, should you make an appointment?

Consider your dentist as a general practitioner and your orthodontist as a specialist. Most common tooth issues may typically be resolved with a visit to the dentist.

Your dentist can diagnose and treat tooth pain, decay, injury, and tooth extraction. They can also treat gum disease, mouth irritation, and oral infections.

A dentist could advise you to visit an orthodontist in certain situations. Dental crowding, jaw malocclusion, and palate expansion may all require the services of an orthodontist.

To determine whether braces would be necessary, it is also encouraged that all children have an orthodontic evaluation before they reach 7. If you are an adult who feels like you need to have your teeth or jaw line straightened, think about skipping the dentist and going straight to the orthodontist.

However, not all orthodontic procedures will be wrapped by insurance, actually, if you have dental coverage. An Omaha orthodontist is a specialist, technically. If a dentist does not suggest you, your insurance company may refuse to pay for your visit to the orthodontist’s office.

Bottom Line:

Among the medical specialists who specialize in diagnosing and treating issues related to oral health are dentists and orthodontists. Dentists are only licensed to do some of the procedures that orthodontists are. Orthodontists are qualified to place braces and find a misaligned jaw because of the training they get. Ask your dentist for a recommendation if you are still determining whether you need an orthodontist.

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