Dentists and orthodontists are both professionals with degrees that specialize in oral and dental care. It can sometimes be difficult to answer the orthodontist vs dentist question. In a nutshell, however, orthodontists deal with problems related to the alignment of the teeth, while dentists deal with things like fillings, extractions, gum disease and overall oral health.
Orthodontist vs Dentist: Education
Educationally, both dentists and orthodontists must complete dental school after obtaining a four-year college degree. Orthodontists must complete a two-year residency program after that in order to practice as an orthodontist. Both may work out of dental offices, and some may even share the same office.
Of the two professions, dentists work on more general oral hygiene conditions. Tooth and gum care, hygiene, decay and structural problems generally fall under the dentist’s responsibility. Likewise, if you chip a tooth and need it repaired, you will go to a dentist. Routine cleanings, X-rays, checking for cavities and looking for signs of gum disease will all be done by the general dentist. Dentists will also provide crowns and bridges to fix or replace missing or broken teeth.
Orthodontist vs Dentist: Different Specialties
If your teeth are crooked and misaligned, or if you have accompanying problems such as an overbite or an underbite, you will need to see an orthodontist. Orthodontists fix issues such as teeth that are crooked in relation to each other. For example, if you have any teeth that are leaning or twisted, our orthodontist will help you straighten them. Likewise, our orthodontist is specially trained to correct overbites and underbites.
Orthodontists are the ones that will fit you with braces, if you need them, to get your teeth into proper alignment. A variety of types of braces can be used. The best orthodontic care for you will depend on the condition of your teeth and your personal preferences. For example, traditional metal braces are effective at treating a wide variety of orthodontic problems, but not everyone wants them. As a result, they may choose to go with alternatives such as ceramic braces or Invisalign®. However, just as every patient is different, every situation will need a personalized treatment plan to ensure the best orthodontic care. Dr. Runnels is in the best position to determine what will work best for you.
While it can sometimes be difficult in certain circumstances to determine the answer for your orthodontist vs dentist question, the professional team at Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics will always be able to help you decide. If your teeth need straightening, Dr. Runnels can provide you with a personalized treatment plan to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. We are conveniently located in both Destin and Panama City Beach, and we also help patients in Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Miramar Beach, Freeport, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside and Rosemary Beach achieve beautiful smiles with the highest level of orthodontic care. To learn more about the orthodontic services we offer, contact us today and schedule your consultation!