Wondering about the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? You’re probably familiar with the well-known book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Though men and women clearly differ in appearance, emotions, and sometimes what constitutes an ideal Sunday afternoon, they’re both human.
In the same way, a dentist and orthodontist are both dental professionals with an educational background that qualifies them to see patients for dental health. However, there are some important differences. Understanding what’s unique about the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist helps you take charge of your oral health with the right dental provider.
Let’s start with a dentist.
Between a dentist and orthodontist, a dentist is the type of doctor you see twice per year for routine cleaning. Often, a dental hygienist will perform the cleaning. The dentist may visit you after about a 30-minute cleaning to examine your x-rays, evaluate your mouth, and check for abnormalities. In addition, a dentist can perform needed dental work like fillings, root canals, and crowns.
A dentist is likely the health professional you’ll see most frequently throughout your lifetime. What qualifies your dentist as a professional? In terms of education, most dentists complete their undergraduate degree and then an additional four years of dental school. Once the dental school graduate passes the national and state board exam, the dentist is qualified to treat patients.
A dentist may specialize as an orthodontist.
There are plenty of specialties available to a dentist. Becoming an orthodontist is one of them. Both a dentist and an orthodontist complete dental school. However, an orthodontist continues education. The dental specialty requires a two-year postgraduate program and licensure. The additional training qualifies an orthodontist to treat improper bites and to align the teeth for function and aesthetics.
If you’re ready to take a well-rounded approach to your dental health by seeing both a dentist and an orthodontist, contact Homegrown Orthodontics in Southern Metro Atlanta for an appointment and more information on the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist..