Maintaining a healthy set of teeth and a smile you can be proud of is important, but how do you know whether you need to see a dentist or an orthodontist? And how do the two differ? Firstly, they both love taking care of people’s teeth, but they do this in different ways.
Below, we’ll tell you exactly how dentists and orthodontists differ, and what each one deals with in terms of oral health and aesthetics.
Hopefully, you know the basic strokes of what a dentist does because you see one regularly for check-ups and cleaning. Though terrifying to some, dentists play a key role in not only ensuring our teeth are healthy and look good but also in spotting potential health issues.
A dentist, though it sounds obvious, deals with the gums, teeth, jaw and mouth. A good dentist will take a holistic overview of your oral health, looking to see how healthy every part of your mouth truly is. It’s their job to assess teeth for signs of decay and suggest a solution that minimises pain and keeps you feeling and looking good.
But dentists are also trained to spot the early signs of things like oral cancer. It is in this area that dentists can truly be lifesavers. Most dentists are also trained surgeons, with the skills to remove teeth and perform procedures like root canals.
Any orthodontist you go and visit will have started their career as a dentist. An orthodontist will study dentistry for four years and then either go into practice as a dentist or choose to study for an additional two years to become an orthodontist. Some dentists go into practice first and then move into the world of orthodontics.
What an orthodontist focuses on is misaligned teeth, overcrowding of the mouth by excess teeth and treating underbites and overbites. An orthodontist has the skills and the training to look at your teeth, take x-rays and 3D models and suggest the best course of option. But the orthodontist’s role isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s about reducing painful conditions and giving people the confidence they need to be happy.
Many dentists may refer you to a trusted orthodontist if they feel your teeth will benefit from specialist attention. There’s no great rivalry between the two camps, and good dentists and orthodontists will work together to provide the best care they can for you.
A Specialised Role
Because of their training and areas of specialisation, an orthodontist is an ideal person to see if you have a crossbite, underbite, overbite, or suffer from a temporomandibular disorder. An orthodontist essentially works to make your teeth look and feel as they should.
This can be of great relief to many, as overbites, underbites and other similar issues can often lead to pain, jaw fatigue and a loss of confidence. If your dentist feels you will benefit from seeing an orthodontist, they will refer you on to a trusted colleague to ease your symptoms and leave you feeling and looking great.
If you require orthodontic work, or simply want an expert opinion, contact Resolution Specialist Treatment Centre today. Professional and friendly, Resolution Specialist Treatment Centre has the experience and skills to help.