Great dental care is important for an individual’s overall health. Yet, it can be troublesome to decide what dental care is ideal for you. Should you visit a dentist or an Surrey orthodontist? It depends on your needs and goals.

To decide which one to pick, you must first distinguish their roles and then determine the difference and similarities between a dentist and an orthodontist.

Orthodontist vs. Dentist

Dentists’ Role

Dentists offer patients both basic and complex dental care. Though patients go to orthodontists whenever they have issues, dentists provide both treatments to particular problems and manage preventive and regular care. Services provided by dentists normally consist of checkups, review of X-rays, teeth cleaning and teaching patients on oral health care. They can also extract teeth, repair broken and cracked teeth, fill cavities and make denture models. Dentists are usually skilled in using a number of tools such as small machinery and computer technology, and they work alongside a staff including a dental assistant and dental hygienist, who assist the dentist in teeth cleanings. Dentists normally refer patients to orthodontists if they have alignment problems.

Orthodontists’ Role

Orthodontists are among the nine dental specialties. Orthodontists normally treat alignment problems to patients. Proper tooth alignment has booth health and cosmetic benefits for patients. Properly aligned teeth can help improve the physical appearance of the patient and can also lessen the chances of tooth decay, stress on the chewing muscles and periodontal diseases. Orthodontists utilize tools like braces, headgears, and retainers to align teeth to better positions. Dental issues that orthodontists treat include large spaces between teeth, overbites, and underbites.

How are they similar?

The main thing that dentists and orthodontists share is that they both put emphasis on oral care. And orthodontist works in a dental office and also provides the same care that dentists provide. So in a way, they are the same. They both deal with gums and teeth and they are both doctors.

How are they different?

They have more difference compared to similarities. An orthodontist needs to take additional education as a dental specialty; the same situation with a doctor who gains supplementary education to be a surgeon. Another notable difference between the two is that orthodontist focuses on aligning the teeth of patients which will improve their bite or fit patients with corrective braces. A dentist will refer a patient who has an overbite to an orthodontist.

Dentists normally educate patients on good oral hygiene and provide services associated with:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canals
  • Gum disease
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening

Orthodontists focus on teeth alignment and provide services associated with:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

They can also use Invisalign to help straighten your teeth.