Dentists and orthodontists provide smile services that are essential for maintaining perfect oral health and beautiful teeth! One shouldn’t (and can’t) replace the other.

Why is that? Don’t they both take X-rays and use instruments on your teeth? Well, yes… but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Here’s the difference between your orthodontist versus your general dentist:

How to Become an Orthodontist Vs. a Dentist?

Let’s begin with their educational background. Dentists and orthodontists begin their training with dental school. However, becoming an orthodontist requires a few more years of training.

After receiving their dental certification, orthodontists will complete a further 2 to 3 years of orthodontic training.

For example, Dr. Abramowitz, our leading Specialist Orthodontist, received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine. While practicing as a dentist, he continued his Advanced Graduate Studies in Orthodontics from Jacksonville University, School of Orthodontics.

Orthodontists require a few extra years in the field to be qualified in providing high-quality orthodontic treatments, like braces and Invisalign.

Who Should You Choose – Invisalign From a Dentist Versus an Orthodontist?

Invisalign is an extremely popular teeth straightening treatment that uses a series of high-quality clear aligners to create a perfect alignment among the teeth and between the jaw bones.

Dentists are qualified to treat your teeth with Invisalign. However, when straightening teeth, the quality of your results will come down to experience.

Orthodontists receive extensive training in orthodontic treatment and will have superior experience and expertise when it comes to diagnosing your condition and creating your custom treatment plan.

Orthodontists have the experience necessary to determine the most efficient treatment route for your specific case, based on years of experience treating similar conditions.

While dentists are qualified to assess the teeth, orthodontists are trained to look below the gum line, to the alignment of the jaw bones. If a treatment plan is created without considering conditions below the gumline, this can be dangerous and lead to further complications.

What is Orthodontic Treatment, and How Does it Differ From Dental Care?

Orthodontists and dentists both go through extensive training to be qualified in their fields.

Dental Treatment

Around 80% of dentists will practice what we refer to as general dentistry and will attend four years of dental school to gain their qualifications. (The remaining 20% are dental specialists who limit their practices to one of the nine ADA recognized dental specialities.)

Dentists can diagnose and treat health conditions around your teeth, gums, mouth, and tongue.

They may also perform your professional dental cleanings, but it’s more common for dental hygienists to perform these. Here are few other treatments your dentist can perform:

– Teeth extraction
– Fill cavities
– Create and interpret dental x-rays
– Cracked teeth repair
– Filling and bonding
– Treat gingivitis and other gum diseases
– Teeth whitening treatments
– Crown and veneer installations
– Monitor the development of your child’s teeth

Orthodontic Treatment

An orthodontist receives specialized training necessary to understand how the positions of your jaw and teeth influence your facial appearance, your smile, and your quality of life; e.g. breathing, sleeping, chewing, speaking functionality.

Orthodontists are also dentists. Therefore, an orthodontist can perform general dentistry, but only around 6% of dentists specialize in orthodontics. So every certified orthodontist is a dentist, but only 6% of dentists are certified orthodontists.

Orthodontists generally treat the following conditions:

– Crooked, crowded or misaligned teeth
– Esthetic concerns regarding the alignment of the teeth
– Lack of confidence when smiling
– Malocclusions (overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite)
– Narrow palate
– Disproportionate jaw bones
– TMJ disorders
– Facial imbalances due to misalignment

Every orthodontic treatment is highly personal, which is why Dr. Abramowitz and his experienced orthodontic team will develop a 100% customized plan that includes any treatments, appliances, or techniques necessary to correct your condition and beautify your smile!

During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Abramowitz will perform a thorough exam of your teeth and jaw bones, and use his findings to suggest the most efficient treatment for your case and develop your personalized treatment plan.

Is an Orthodontist a Doctor?

Whenever you visit a dentist, you are under the care of a Doctor of Oral Health. Every dentist has earned either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). These are very similar degrees.

An orthodontist must complete a DMD or DDS before moving on to specialize in orthodontics, so yes, your orthodontist is also a doctor!

Still have questions about the difference between Orthodontists and Dentists?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit to your last appointment.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Bartow or Winter Haven, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary consultation for you or your child today.