A dentist is a professional who has studied and qualified to treat teeth, gums and generally check on oral health. Difference between dentist and orthodontist is that the former has studied basic dentistry while the latter has undertaken additional specialist study in orthodontics at the university. Orthodontics is specialized dentistry branch concentrating on development of teeth, jaws and face to reach best function and aesthetics. It is usually achieved using clear removable aligners or fixed braces.
An orthodontist is therefore a specialist who trained as a dentist then undertook further postgraduate course either at Masters or at Doctorate level.
Specialist training in orthodontics takes place at hospitals linked to leading university schools usually full time. Training at hospitals that collaborate with universities helps trainees learn theory and gain experience by treating patients at the same time. At the end of training, trainees sits for an exam and get certificate of completion in this specialist training for them to be registered as orthodontists.
Orthodontists are highly sought after because of their experience in maxillofacial surgery pediatric and restorative dentistry.
It is important for patients to tell the difference between a general delray beach dentist and orthodontist. There are certain general dentists who attempt to perform orthodontic treatment with invisalighn or braces after taking few lessons in the evenings or weekends. Patients should therefore be able to tell difference between dentist and orthodontist as the latter require comprehensive training and experience that just a few part time classes. A general surgeon does not have necessary skills for diagnoses and performing orthodontics procedure. Attempting the procedure might cause complications.
Differentiating general dentists and orthodontist
One way of telling the two professionals apart is by checking their signage. General dentists who offer orthodontic service to the patients will use a signage that reads “orthodontics”. It does not read “orthodontist”. Such signage would be deceptive to consumers. General surgeons do not have additional training that is necessary to qualify as an orthodontist. It is only orthodontic specialists who are allowed to use term “orthodontist” to describe themselves.
Since some rogue general dentists might use misleading signage, it is important to confirm with the local dentist registration body to know who is qualified in orthodontic. The other way is to check at the qualifications of an orthodontist.
It does matter to know who is a general surgeon or an orthodontist when you require orthodontics. A specialist has expertise to properly diagnose the condition and treat it well. It is more like going to a cardiologist when you have a heart problem rather than rely on a general surgeon. An orthodontist specialist has higher chances of correcting orthodontic issues that a general dentist because of the accumulated knowledge in training and experience through practice.