Orthodontists and Dentists: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to caring for their teeth, many people may confuse the roles of orthodontists and dentists.
While each professional provides dental health care for their patients, there are significant differences between the two fields.
With offices in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, Dr. Roger A. Grace and Dr. Brodie L. Bowman bring years of orthodontic experience to the practice and provide top-notch care.
Orthodontists practice a type of dentistry in which they diagnose, treat and prevent dental and facial irregularities through the use of braces and other similar devices. These help ensure your teeth, jaw and lips are properly aligned and that you have facial balance.
All orthodontists are dentists, having graduated from dental school. But orthodontists go further in their studies, returning for post-graduate work for at least two years in orthodontics, including residency work.
Dentists, who often refer their patients to orthodontists when such care and treatment is needed, focus on the teeth and gums. Dentists treat tooth decay, tartar and gum disease, and offer cleanings as well.
Orthodontists are specialists, much like the cardiologist who treats your heart or the orthopedist who treats your knees and other joints.
Orthodontists specialize in making your teeth and jaws work together so you can chew, bite and speak in comfort, and with confidence.
The American Association of Orthodontic notes that proper orthodontic care and qualified orthodontists can:
• Promote a healthy mouth, which in turn promotes overall health.
• Provide the best treatments available, from clear aligner devices to the latest available braces.
• Offer screenings to determine the best treatments for children.
• Help adults with serious dental or jaw problems.