How is an orthodontist different from a dentist? This is a question we commonly hear from prospective patients, and we understand that the difference between an orthodontist and dentist may be unclear to people who aren’t members of the dental community.
This page is designed to give our current and future patients a solid understanding of what distinguishes an orthodontist from a dentist. If you have questions that we haven’t answered here, we invite you to contact us so that we can help you make the most educated decision possible about the future health and beauty of your smile.
What is an Orthodontist?
Like a dentist, an orthodontist is an oral health care provider. What makes an orthodontist different from a dentist is that he or she specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of bite problems, known as malocclusions. Malocclusions can be caused by a number of factors, such as missing teeth, crowded teeth, or even misalignment of the jaw itself. An orthodontist straightens a patient’s teeth and bite by employing corrective appliances or devices, such as braces, wires, bands, or retainers. To do this effectively, an orthodontist must have advanced knowledge of the many neuromuscular and skeletal issues that may contribute to malocclusion. Every orthodontist is able to treat children as well as adults, though some orthodontists choose to specialize in juvenile or adult treatment.
The main factor that distinguishes an orthodontist from a dentist is the specialized training a dentist must undergo to become an orthodontist. All dentists and orthodontists must graduate from dental school before being certified to practice dentistry. Some people choose to pursue further education so that they can gain the in-depth training that qualifies them to specialize in a specific area of dentistry, such as orthodontics. Orthodontic training programs are very competitive: only the brightest and most dedicated dentists are accepted, and even fewer have the dedication necessary to complete this rigorous course of study.
Meet our Orthodontist in Panama City Beach or Destin
If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment, our team at Runnels Orthodontics can help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Scott Runnels. We will work with you to help you get your best smile!