When deciding to undergo orthodontic treatment, it is important that you consider all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of each. It is true that both dentists and orthodontists studied oral health, and although orthodontists are the experts in straightening teeth, many dentists today are offering orthodontic appliances in their offices as well. How do you decide which one is right for you? We understand that making a decision can be confusing, which is why we put together some comparative data between dentists and orthodontists. We hope that by using the information below, that you will be able to make the best decision for your oral care.
All Orthodontists Are Dentists
Even though dentistry and orthodontics are not the same profession, there are some similarities between the two. The most obvious similarity being that both dentists and orthodontists specializes in teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Both types of doctors begin with the same educational background of achieving a bachelor’s degree and completing a four-year doctoral program at a dental school. After completing dental school, candidates will earn either a D.D.S. or a D.M.D. degree and can begin practicing dentistry. A dentist is now responsible for providing patients with primary dental care, which includes diagnosing, treating, and managing general oral health. Dentists may also offer additional services, such as root canals, fillings, teeth whitening, crowns, bridges, and more to treat issues including gum disease and tooth decay. As orthodontists go through this schooling as well, they can technically treat these common problems as well. However, the two professions become distinguished in what happens following dental school.
Not All Dentists Are Orthodontists
The major difference between orthodontists and dentists is the extra schooling it takes to specialize in orthodontics. For a dentist to become an orthodontist, he or she must attend an additional two to three years of orthodontic specialization schooling. Upon competition of their program, candidates will earn an M.S and can begin practicing orthodontia. With a Master of Science degree, orthodontists are taught how to properly align teeth and jaws. Using advanced tools like braces and Invisalign, orthodontists are able to treat alignment issues, including:
- Crowded teeth
- Misaligned (crooked) teeth
Although extra schooling and specialization is required to become an orthodontist, many dentists are now offering orthodontic appliances. While it is possible for dentists to straighten teeth as some may take quick classes to obtain a certificate, we do not recommend getting orthodontic treatment from any other doctor other than an orthodontist. As you now know, becoming an orthodontist takes years of additional education. Therefore, when choosing to undergo orthodontic treatment by a dentist rather than orthodontist, you are not giving your smile the attention and care that it needs.
Contact Your Local Laguna Niguel Pediatric Dentist & Orthodontist
At Laguna Niguel Orthodontics and Children’s Dentistry, our skilled pediatric dentists and orthodontists, believe that your smile deserves the best treatment available. We hope that we have clarified the differences between dentists and orthodontists. As you can see, when it comes to receiving orthodontic treatment, it’s much wiser to choose an orthodontist, as they have received more specialized education in the field. If you are interested in orthodontic treatment, including braces and Invisalign in Laguna Niguel, Dr. Majd, D.M.D., M.S., has many years of experience in creating beautiful and healthy smiles for her patients. If you have any further questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!