General dentists can identify and manage problems with your gums and teeth. This education is shared with orthodontists, who go on to specialize in identifying and correcting issues with tooth and jaw alignment. If you are having trouble deciding between an orthodontist and a dentist, this article by a Santa Monica TMJ orthodontist should help clear things up.
How does a dentist help people?
Doctors of oral health and dentists are. Dentists typically pursue a pre-dental or pre-med undergraduate degree before continuing their education at the graduate level in a dental or medical school.
Before getting qualified, dentists must complete significant training in their field, much like all other doctors. Approximately 80% of dentists engage in general dentistry.
Dentists have been trained to identify and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, tongues, and mouths. They can also provide dental cleanings. However, this is typically left to dental hygienists.
These are the services that dentists offer:
- Fill cavities, conduct and evaluate dental X-rays
- Fix teeth extracted cracks in teeth are filled and bonded.
- Treat gum conditions such as gingivitis
- Place veneers or crowns
- Orthodontology surgery
What does a dentist do with braces?
Orthodontists are also dental health specialists. Technically speaking, they are a type of dentist specializing in jaw and tooth alignment.
The teeth, gums, and mouth issues that affect oral health can be diagnosed and treated by certified orthodontists. But most of all, orthodontists are concerned with the proper alignment of your jaw and teeth.
What orthodontists do is:
- Watch over children’s jawline and bite development
- Diagnose and treat malocclusion, the misalignment of the teeth and jaws
- A treatment strategy, including braces and retainers, should be developed
- Conduct surgery to straighten your teeth
Should you visit a dentist or an orthodontist?
Consider an orthodontist to be a specialist and a dentist to be a general practitioner. A visit to the dentist may usually fix most common dental problems.
Your dentist can determine the cause of your tooth pain, treat tooth decay, repair damaged teeth, and even extract teeth. Infections, oral irritation, and gum disease can all be treated with them.
In some circumstances, a dentist may suggest that you see an orthodontist. Additionally, all kids receive an orthodontic evaluation before they turn 7 to determine whether braces will be required. Consider bypassing the dentist and making an appointment with an orthodontist instead if you are an adult who believes your teeth or jawline need to be straightened.
Having dental insurance does not guarantee payment for orthodontic services. Technically speaking, an orthodontist is a specialist. You may need a dentist’s referral before your insurance company would cover an orthodontist appointment.