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Are Dentists and Orthodontists the Same?

Every year, thousands of people make a reluctant phone call to their local dentistry office – and when we say reluctant, we really mean it. The thought of a stranger exploring your gum line with tools and mirrors can be pretty off-putting, but without these dental experts it’s safe to say that our teeth could suffer as a result.

It’s not uncommon for people to confuse dentists with orthodontists – and for good reason. Both work within dental laboratories and you can have your oral hygiene seen to by either practitioner, but did you know that the two types actually specialise in their own range of treatments?

What makes a dentist unique?

Most dental surgeons will offer services relating to the condition of teeth and gums, as well as the health of tongues and oral hygiene in general. These services are considered far more varied than those offered by orthodontists, which could be thought of as the more specialised dental expert. Where dental practitioners are unique is in the services that they provide; the majority of which are focused on the treatment of oral hygiene.

And what about orthodontists?

On the other side of the coin you have orthodontists. These healthcare providers can sometimes offer similar services to their dental counterparts, but in the majority of cases they will focus on the treatment of physical ailments relating to the mouth. For example, if a patient booked an appointment with one of these experts because of a wonky tooth, then they would likely see an orthodontist.

Likewise, if the patient was suffering with an over-bite or an under-bite, they would be better off seeing an expert that can help to address the alignment and position of their jaw. This is why a dentist may refer a patient to an orthodontist, where the latter expert will be better suited to taking care of the more physically-inclined requirement.

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