Dentists and orthodontists both help patients improve their oral health, however, the two are different. While they both help their patients improve their oral health, they do different things and the education necessary is a bit different.
Before a student is allowed to apply for dental school, they must enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree Program. There are some dental schools that will allow students to attend after two to three years of undergraduate study. As part of the dental program, they are able to complete their Bachelor’s Degree. When a student wants to become a doctor, they are required to major in pre-med during their undergraduate studies. This is not the case with dental school. There is no pre-dental major required. Most students who are planning to attend dental school take courses in biology, chemistry, and physics to prepare them for dentistry school. After completing dental school, the students would take their Dental Administration Test to earn a Dental Degree. Soon after, they would obtain their license to practice dentistry.
Education Necessary To Become an Orthodontist
In order for a person to become an orthodontist, they would be required to enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree program before they attend dental school. After graduating from dental school, the student would enroll in a Postgraduate Orthodontics Program. After completing the program, the student would need to take a test to become a Board Certified Orthodontist. When the student is Board Certified, they would get their license and then be able to practice orthodontics.
What Are the Main Duties of a Dentist
Dentists see patients from the time they cut their first tooth until the end of their lives. Dentists specialize in a variety of oral hygiene areas. These include:
• Tooth decay and cavities
• Root canals
• Gum disease
• Teeth whitening
When a dentist sees a patient, they would take x-rays to check for cavities and other dental issues. If the patient requires a filling, a crown, or a root canal, the dentist would handle these things right in the office. They also do tooth extractions. They would inspect the health of the gums to check for disease. If there are signs of gum disease, the dentist would recommend a treatment plan to treat the gums. If a patient needs a bridge or dentures, the dentist would take the impressions of the mouth and see the patient right through until the lab makes and delivers the false teeth. The job of the dentist is to encourage proper oral hygiene and treat issues accordingly.
What Are the Main Duties of an Orthodontist
Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of the teeth. While they are qualified to treat patients the same way as a dentist, an orthodontist has chosen to focus more on the cosmetic side of dentistry. Some of the common issues that an orthodontist treats includes:
• Misaligned teeth
• Crowded teeth
Orthodontists work with people with crooked teeth. Many of an orthodontist’s patients are teenagers because this is the most common age for braces. The orthodontist will treat patients with different types of braces, depending on the patient’s problems. A few of the most common treatments offered by orthodontists include:
• Traditional metal braces
• Ceramic Braces
• Damon Braces
• Forsus appliances
• Palatal expanders
Over the last decade, more and more older people have been seeking orthodontic treatment thanks to Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear, removable aligner that treats the same problems as traditional braces, however, they are invisible. Unless a patient tells someone that they are wearing an aligner, they likely won’t even know.
Cosmetic Dentists and orthodontists treat different patients with different issues. When it comes to getting regular dental treatments every six months, you would see a dentist. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, you would see an orthodontist.