Do you have a dental issue that needs professional attention? Who should you see, a general dentist or an orthodontist? While both deal with oral health issues, they have unique roles and help patients with dental problems. Here is how the two professions are different and how to determine whose services you should seek.
Both undergo the same basic dentistry education at an accredited institution. However, an orthodontist goes back to study further before becoming a certified orthodontist. Therefore, you should consider all orthodontists as dentists, but a dentist cannot serve the same role as an orthodontist.
Dentists are well-trained professionals who offer treatment to ensure your dental health and oral wellness are optimal. In contrast, an orthodontist is a qualified dentist specialising further in teeth, jaws and oral dental structure.
Differences in Roles
Each has their unique role. A dentist is well-trained to treat conditions affecting your oral health, including the mouth and tongue. Additionally, they can take dental X-Rays, offer cosmetic dentistry treatments or perform teeth cleaning.
An orthodontist promotes oral health by focusing on your teeth and jaw. They ensure your jaw is aligned and your teeth are well spaced and set. Although both go through the same basic training, orthodontists study biomechanics, facial growth and development to best perform their roles.
Whose Services Should You Seek?
The best professional to go to between the two depends on your symptoms. If you are experiencing a common dental issue, seeing a general dentist should be your best option since they can offer relief for standard problems like decay, extraction, repair, oral inflammations or infections.
Consider scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist when dealing with teeth or jaw misalignment or other related problems. Improperly aligned teeth could cause additional issues like bone damage, improper chewing, damage to gums, chronic headaches, sleep apnea and digestive issues. If you are dealing with misplaced midlines, overbites, spacing issues, underbites or crossbites, you should schedule your consultation with an orthodontist.
Always Schedule Appointment with Both Professionals
While a dentist has a different role in your oral health from an orthodontist, seeing both is important. As your dentist aims to help prevent dental issues and achieve and maintain optimal dental health, they can work closely with your orthodontist. Together, they can develop an effective and customised treatment plan to achieve peak dental health. As you call your dentist to schedule your next visit, also schedule one with an orthodontist. Seeking the services of both professionals will ensure lifelong good oral health.