While both dentists and orthodontists help keep our teeth and gums healthy, they provide different services. Orthodontics is actually a specialty that fits under the broader umbrella of dentistry. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists–this specialty requires more advanced training. Orthodontists focus on fixing issues with the bite and alignment of teeth. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between dentists and orthodontists, in addition to how each assist in improving a patient’s oral health.
What Services Do Dentists Provide?
You might see an orthodontist as needed, during adolescence and adulthood. Whereas it is recommended that everyone visits a dentist regularly to maintain good oral health. With regular visits to your dentist, you’re ensuring any potential oral issues are noticed and corrected early. These semi-yearly visits safeguard your teeth and gums, making certain that any problems are caught and treated before they become more serious. Issues that dentists can diagnose and treat include the following:
- Tooth decay, including cavities
- Gum disease, such as gingivitis
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Teeth that require extraction
During a typical dentist appointment, you’ll have your teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist, followed by a dentist who will perform an exam to check for any issues. They might utilize X-rays to check for deeper problems, such as tooth decay that requires a root canal. Dentists can also provide crowns, bridges, and veneers, which can help strengthen your teeth and improve their appearance. In-office teeth whitening is another service that dentists commonly provide. This service can help you feel more confident in the look of your teeth.
Finally, dentists can help you maintain good oral hygiene. They might recommend products, give you advice on your dental health habits, and even prescribe necessary prescription drugs. Regular visits to your dentist can promote both oral cleanliness and improve your overall health. If you are experiencing tooth pain, jaw pain, or other uncomfortable sensations, make an appointment to see your dentist.
What Services Do Orthodontists Provide?
Your dentist might refer you to an orthodontist if you are experiencing issues with your bite or tooth crowding. Misaligned or overcrowded teeth can lead to issues with plaque buildup and tooth decay. Orthodontists receive additional training to provide specialized care. An orthodontist can help you with the following:
- Teeth alignment
- Issues with your bite
- Crowded teeth
- Overbites and underbites
Braces are the primary reason why people will see an orthodontist. Braces are a type of dental appliance that gradually move teeth over time, to align the teeth properly and fix issues relating to crowding. To further modify a bite, an Orthodontist may also utilize certain dental appliances such as a palatal expander or orthodontic headgear.
While braces are often used to align children’s teeth, they are used to help adults achieve a straighter smile as well. Many orthodontists may offer alternative treatments to traditional metal braces, like ceramic braces or clear aligners. If you are having trouble with your bite or want to change the appearance of your smile, make an appointment for a consultation with an orthodontist near you.
Learn More by Contacting Columbia Town Center Ortho
Though dentists and orthodontists are both important in maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, there are some problems that only an orthodontist should address. At Columbia Town Center Orthodontics, we provide orthodontic services that will correct the alignment of your teeth, as well as issues relating to your bite. While your dentist can provide a referral to an orthodontist, if you are concerned about a specific issue, reach out to Columbia Town Center Orthodontics to schedule a consultation. Call us today at 410.873.9242 to learn more.