Does your usual dentist offer orthodontic treatment? It’s not uncommon for family dental practices to offer some types of realignment treatments, and you may be tempted to consider this, especially if you’re happy with the existing treatment that you and your family receive from them.
What you may not know is that there’s actually a big difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. It might be helpful to understand these differences before deciding where to go for orthodontic treatment.
What is the difference between the focus of dentists and specialist orthodontists?
Generally speaking, dentists and orthodontists have very different areas of interest. Dentists usually focus on the general health of your teeth, including cavities, gum health and tooth loss.
Specialist orthodontists, however, are concerned with the alignment of your teeth and jaw and how it can be adjusted to improve general dental health and the overall look of your smile.
What about training and qualifications?
Another very key difference between a dentist and a specialist orthodontist is the training and qualifications they receive.
Both dentists and specialist orthodontists will be qualified dentists. However, specialist orthodontists also undergo an additional three years of orthodontic training.
It’s this additional training and experience that you benefit from when you choose a specialist orthodontist rather than a dentist.
In order to offer some orthodontic treatments, many dentists do undertake a couple of extra training courses. However, we believe this can’t compare to the additional Masters or Doctorate level training that has to be completed by specialist orthodontists.
Want more advice on how to choose?
If you’d like some more advice on whether to choose a dentist or a specialist orthodontist, here are our thoughts on why it pays to choose a specialist orthodontist.