If you have been referred to an orthodontist or are researching the best way to get the smile you dream of, it’s a good idea to become familiar with what an orthodontist does and how they are different from a dentist.Orthodontics is actually a specialization of dentistry. To put it in perspective, according to the Canadian Dental Association, as of 2010 only 4% of licensed dentists in Canada are orthodontic specialists!But what sets an orthodontist apart from a regular dentist? And what services can an orthodontist provide?
Orthodontics and Dentistry: what’s the difference?Orthodontists and dentists may work together to look after your oral health but when it comes to certain problems, it is necessary to see an orthodontist to get the best treatment. It is similar to the difference between your family doctor and a specialist. If you have certain issues, you see the expert – and orthodontists are experts when it comes to straightening your teeth.A dentist is a health care practitioner that diagnoses, helps to prevent, and treats diseases and conditions of the mouth such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. Orthodontists, on the other hand, are concerned with the treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw alignment, or both.Orthodontics is not only for cosmetic purposes, but also treats and prevents physical health problems related to facial, jaw and tooth misalignment.
Why see an Orthodontist?
- Only an orthodontist can properly align teeth, jaws and lips alleviating or preventing physical health problems that may lead to headaches, jaw pain or chewing and digestive difficulties
- Only an orthodontist can treat a "bad bite" that contributes to speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other concerns.
- Only an orthodontist is properly and extensively trained in providing the treatment needed to give you the attractive smile you always wanted – such as braces or Invisalign.