Although the dentist and orthodontist sound similar, and the term is often used to refer to the professional who focuses on oral health, the truth is that there are key differences between the two. The mouth is one of the essential parts of the body because it is through the mouth that one can define the state of health in which a person is, mainly because it is the entry of food that will provide nutrients for the well-being of the entire body. Therefore, it is essential to take special oral health care so that the teeth and gums do not suffer disorders that may alter their function and aesthetics.
It may be difficult for you to know which dental specialist to turn to when you suffer from misaligned teeth, jaw issues, gum infection, or any other dental problem; in this article, you will learn the differences between dentist and orthodontist.
Dentists and Orthodontists – What’s the Difference?
Firstly, both areas start from the same branch, which is oral health, but later on, they branch out according to the dental specialty; therefore, it can be said that the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist is the specialty training and the experience that each one has. The dentist who did not specialize in dentistry has a more general focus on dental health and oral care. In contrast, the orthodontic specialist focuses on treating aesthetic issues to provide a healthier smile, that is, treating abnormalities related to a bad bite, jaw alignment, or correcting other problems that have a greater degree of difficulty.
What is a dentist, and what are his functions?
Dentists have specialized training in the care and primary care of the oral cavity. Their functions and knowledge help create a diagnosis and provide a treatment option according to your needs. Therefore, a dentist tends to have a lot of importance in people’s health and the responsibility to promote and educate patients for proper oral health.
Dentists also focus on treating gum disease and common diseases of the teeth and mouth through a dental exam or specialized testing equipment such as x-rays or lasers and tools for professional cleaning, tooth extraction, and different dental procedures.
Functions of a dentist
- Reviewing the patient history and conducting evaluations of teeth, gums, and tissues to determine any conditions or dental irregularities.
- Extraction of teeth that were affected due to excess tartar, tooth decay, or root canal problems.
- Performing tooth whitening procedures.
- Providing and prescribing dental medicine according to dental treatment.
- Explain and detail each procedure to be performed on patients.
- Prevent and control diseases and problems that alter oral healthcare.
- Provide treatment recommendations according to the patient’s needs.
What is a specialized orthodontist, and what are their functions?
A specialty orthodontist is a dental professional who can perform dentists’ functions and treat problems related to the tooth structure. For a dentist to perform any orthodontic treatment, they need to have completed an additional 2 3 years of dental school and have completed a master or orthodontic residency program. Some of the best specialists even take a four year doctoral program.
This is done to make corrections in the alignment of teeth, mainly in situations of an overbite, crowded teeth, spaces between teeth, temporomandibular disorders, or any other condition related to dental structure that may prevent proper function and a beautiful smile.
Within orthodontics, different processes use several types of appliances, either fixed or removable. These two orthodontic services’ primary function is to place the teeth in their correct position and avoid irregularities.
It is usually a very useful treatment option, and one of the most popular within this category are the traditional brackets or lingual brackets. For this treatment plan, it takes a couple of months or even years to fix teeth that are not proper aligned, which causes an incorrect bite.
As the name implies, they are appliances that can be removed at any time, such as retainers, which prevent the crowding of teeth. They can be removed during a routine cleaning or when food is eaten.
How to choose the best dental specialist?
Must have specialty
Firstly, the person you wish to attend must have a dental degree and be highly qualified in the area in which they work, either by seminar certifications or by their dental school.
This way, you will know that he or she will have the ability and training to take care of your oral health.
They must have the support of a trained team
A specialist should always have a team that also has a specialist degree, especially since a professional cannot carry out all the tasks. Therefore, if there is an oral surgeon, a specialized orthodontist, an implantologist, or other professionals in the clinic, you can be sure that they will provide you with the best care so that you can forget about your oral health concerns and get healthy teeth and a brighter smile.
It must convey confidence to you
Patient care is fundamental, so if there is adequate treatment, and the dentist clears up your questions, you will feel more at ease progressively. You will be able to go to the specialist for regular checkups without any problem. This is an excellent benefit for you to follow your procedure for a healthy smile.
As you will notice, there is a big difference between dentist and orthodontist, and going with each one of them will depend a lot on the oral health issues you present. The dentist should always be your first choice. This is because, thanks to them, you can know the severity of your dental problems and, depending on the conditions in which you are, can make the right decisions for a treatment plan or go with a specialized orthodontist. That’s why you must know how to choose the best dentist.
At Pacific Implant Center, we have the most qualified staff and specialists, who will provide you with the best treatment recommendations so you can get a healthy smile. Dedication, commitment, and special care are some of the reasons why many people decide to go to our dentist in Tijuana; besides, the main benefit they get is reflected in a healthy smile and a brighter one.
Come and schedule your appointment today.