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What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

Dentists and orthodontists are strongly linked due to the fact that they both work to improve patients’ oral health. Orthodontists will often still work within a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. They are also both considered doctors and both deal with issues regarding patients teeth and gums, whether this be health or aesthetics related. So what are the differences between the two? Ultimately, the means in which they provide oral care is what separates these two areas of expertise:

 

  • Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that encompasses issues with teeth, gums, jaw and nerves

 

  • Orthodontics is a specialty within this area of dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusions and the straightness of teeth – usually associated with braces and other forms of teeth/jaw alignment

 

The differences between a dentist and an orthodontist can be somewhat confusing to patients, therefore, this blog will establish what the difference between a dentist and orthodontist is. Whilst these differences may seem subtle to those who don’t work within the healthcare industry, it is important to be aware of these to ensure that you know who to contact the next time you have an issue with your oral health.

 

The Differences Explained

 

Whilst they both work within the same area of study and provide patients with a similar service regarding oral care, there are some very tangible differences between the two. To become an orthodontist, additional schooling is typically required on top of standard dentistry training. A useful way to understand this is to compare it to how extra schooling is required by a doctor who wishes to become a surgeon.

 

To become an orthodontist, a further three year postgraduate course at Masters or Doctorate level must be completed, after the initial dentistry undergraduate degree. However, the route into orthodontistry is not easy nor is it always straightforward. This is because orthodontist training posts are very popular and sought after.

 

Therefore, before a dentist can begin orthodontist training, they must first have evidence of working in restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. Orthodontists in training will be tested on specialist orthodontics theory while also gaining valuable experience by treating real patients in placement positions.

 

Much of the knowledge and skills held by a dentist will also be held by an orthodontist, however, this may not always be the case the other way round. While some orthodontists will still provide more general dental care, dentists will typically provide services to solve issues regarding the following:

 

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Teeth whitening
  • Root canals
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Crowns

 

A lot of people presume that the only difference between a dentist and orthodontist is that the latter administers and works with braces. The reason behind this is that orthodontists specialise in issues regarding the alignment of teeth and improving a patient’s “bite”.

 

Orthodontists can essentially be considered as dentists who specialise in teeth alignment. They will usually provide most of the services of a general dentist practitioner as well. However, fitting patients with corrective devices and braces is the primary way in which orthodontists solve specialist issues, providing services which relate to:

 

  • Misaligned and crowded teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • The treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
  • Specialist jaw issues
  • Trauma or accidents
  • Premature loss of the baby teeth

 

What are the Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist?

 

This specialist doctor possesses the necessary knowledge and skills, beyond the standard dental school curriculum, to diagnose, prevent and treat various types of facial and dental irregularities. Depending on your precise issue or situations, orthodontic treatment has a wide variety of benefits to both functional and aesthetic aspects of oral healthcare. Investing in the services of a fully-trained, experienced orthodontist is your best option if you want to ensure the proper alignment and straightening of your teeth.

 

Therefore, investing in treatment with one of the best orthodontists in London will provide you with many benefits, including:

 

  • Better looking teeth teeth, a brighter smile and great self-confidence
  • Straightened teeth reducing the chances decay and diseases of the gums
  • Lesser risk of accidental injury resulting from protruding teeth
  • Improved bite with equal distribution of pressure across both jaws
  • Preparing the teeth for restorative care and future treatment

 

What Treatments Do Orthodontists Offer?

 

Hermes London’s private orthodontist offers a wide-array of treatments for patients, using an unmatchable blend of the latest technology and most experienced staff. The services on offer include:

 

  • Clear Smile Aligners
  • Lingual Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Damon Braces
  • Six Month Smiles
  • Invisible Braces
  • Interceptive orthodontic treatment

 

Interceptive orthodontic treatment is used to correct misaligned jaws in children. This is often caused by protruding or excessively overcrowding of teeth. Helping to rectify bad oral habits is also part of this service (e.g. thumbsucking).

 

Adult orthodontics and children’s orthodontics are both available. The orthodontistry service for children will provide you with an expert’s early evaluation to increase the chances of a naturally brighter smile by the time of adulthood. Adult orthodontics services are available to help solve various misalignment and teeth straightening issues. Here at Hermes, we understood that many adults may find the idea of braces unsightly, therefore, many subtle and “invisible” options are available to support your needs.

 

In terms of what you can expect timeframe-wise, the precise length of orthodontic treatments can very massively depending on the type and severity of the issue at hand. A thorough examination with a trained professional will be needed to work out exactly how long your treatment is going to take. On average, Hermes’ treatments tend to last 12-18 months long. Although, less severe alternatives are available for those who require more short term solutions.

 

Unlock a Brighter Smile with Hermes

Are you experiencing difficulty with your tooth alignment, or is your child suffering with overcrowding?? Live in the London area and need a check-up? Or simply fed up with your smile not being as bright as it once was? Well, if you’re looking for impeccable orthodontists or general dentistry services for a price which is worth paying for, then look no further.
Hermes Dentists London are an award-winning dental clinic with experience and a proven track record. If you want more reasons to smile, then simply get in contact today – we’d love to help.

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