General Dentist vs. Orthodontist: Whom Should You Choose?

The internet is undoubtedly the information portal of our era. We all use Google to search for and understand dental and medical recommendations, but the plethora of data has lead to the opening of doors that may lead to some confusing, conflicting, and misinforming articles related to the difference between a general dentist and an orthodontist.

Whether you have minor or major issues with your mouth, your oral health is something you should not take lightly. Having a healthy mouth is your gateway to your overall heath. For nutritious food to get into your body, you need your teeth to function well to chew food. Teeth play a major role in our health; they keep not only keep our health right on track but also ensure good self-esteem. So really, whom should you choose for your dental needs?

Read on below to find out the difference between these two specialists.

They are Both Similar

Orthodontists and general dentists have the main similarity that is they both focus on oral care of patients. They both can work in a dental office and they are both doctors that deal with the care of gums and teeth.

They Have Some Differences

Compared to their similarities, you can find more differences in both dentists and orthodontists. Typically, an orthodontist requires additional learning like courses or Gerety Orthodontic Seminars continuing education as a part of their dental specialty. This is similar to doctors who require additional training to become surgeons. Another notable difference is that orthodontists specialize in the helping of patients with teeth related problems to improve their bite or fit them with corrective devices or braces. At times when a person has an overbite, a dentist will refer them to an orthodontist.

However, dentists focus more on oral hygiene and provide services to the overall mouth, including tooth decay, gum diseases, root canals, veneers, bridges, teeth whitening, and crowns.

Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of the jaw and teeth. They provide services for patients with crowded teeth, overbite, misaligned teeth, and under bite.

Can a Dentist Provide Orthodontic Treatment?

Yes, if you visit a general dentist, they can also provide orthodontic treatment and some can do so at high standards. In most cases, however, they are unlikely to have the exact level of training and experience as a specialist orthodontist. Once they qualify, orthodontists usually provide orthodontic treatment. This helps to develop their skills quickly and treat a wide range of cases that could range from mild to highly complex ones.

Who Provides Invisalign and Braces?

Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on the treatment of misaligned teeth using braces and other dental technologies like Invisalign to apply precise forces that help to reposition the teeth. These help to improve not only the longevity and health of your teeth but the look of your smile. From time to continuing education, seminars help some general dentists to enable them to offer orthodontic services as a part of their primary services.

When you visit a dentist, only they would know how to treat diseases and other mouth related problems. However, choosing an orthodontist specialist will ensure that you attain the best results when it comes to braces and misalignment of teeth.

Orthodontists Can Help With Other Problems

Along with providing braces, orthodontists can help with other problems like crooked teeth, spaces between teeth, cross bites, overcrowding of teeth, and treatment of TMD (temporomandibular disorders). They also treat additional problems related to the teeth.

Dentists provide fillings, TMJ treatments, but if you want a healthy smile, an orthodontist can provide you with better balance in the treatments you may require.

Does It Matter to Choose a Specialist?

It is a fact that dental and medical specialists have superior training, knowledge, and experience in their field of expertise. In medicine, most people trust specialists because they have better expertise, especially when it comes to serious conditions. People not only rely on specialists to diagnose the nuances of their condition expertly but deliver the best possible care. They help patients understand the problems and see things that general physicians would miss due to their lack of experience.

An orthodontic specialist is much more likely to provide successful treatments compared to general dentists because the specialist goes through the accumulation of vast experience and knowledge. Sometimes, general dentists may not have the required experience in treating misaligned teeth correctly and safely so they send patients to a specialist.

Depending on your teeth problems, it is advisable that you first consult your general dentist. In both cases, these experts have enough experience in their precise field of study.  Take your time to evaluate the condition, the treatment option you may need and choose a specialist who has enough experience in treating the problems.

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