Orthodontists vs Dentists and Other Dental Specialties

Orthodontists vs Dentists

Our mouths are very complex structures. Dentists are generally anyone’s first thoughts when you consider subjects related to oral health; however, general dentists alone cannot do everything anyone needs to properly care for their dental health. Considering there are so many specialties, you may wonder what happens when you compare them all. Who wins in the orthodontists vs dentists match? let’s see.

In our case, here at Estes Orthodontics, we have two amazing orthodontists who focus on providing our patients with the highest level of care possible to work on the alignment of teeth and jaws. Still, orthodontics is not the only specialty in the field of oral medicine.

Currently, the American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes 12 specialties in the field of dental health medicine:

  • Dental Anesthesiology
  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Oral Medicine
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orofacial Pain
  • Orthodontics

Currently, only around 6% of dental health specialists are orthodontists, and we are glad to belong to that group. Orthodontists help patients realign their teeth to ensure excellent oral health and a cosmetically pleasing smile.

So how do orthodontists differ from general dentists? Are there any things one does the other cannot? Let’s discuss these matters.

Orthodontists vs Dentists – The Similarities

All orthodontists begin their professional careers as dentists do. Any undergraduate student will have to complete three or more years of their initial education and add four dental school years to receive a general dentist certification.

Initially, they have to achieve a degree as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). There are no significant differences between these two certifications; a dental school will award one or the other.

Any dentist can then choose to specialize in any of the fields mentioned above. Even so, professionals have racked up hundreds of hours of experience, some residencies, and a lot of knowledge in general medicine, surgery, and anatomy.

Another aspect where both orthodontists and dentists are very similar is the promotion of good oral hygiene. We won’t shut up about it. Oral hygiene is vital for any individual hoping to avoid most causes of dental health complications.

Dental hygiene is critical to dentists and orthodontists because we can control it. Patients may require help correcting developmental and congenital problems, but we can all do a few important things to make our dental hygiene routines the very best they can be.

Generally speaking, your dentist is interested in helping you maintain good oral hygiene for the same reasons as an Albany orthodontist. Good oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis, halitosis, and tooth loss. Whether you have orthodontic appliances or not, regularly brushing and flossing your teeth helps maintain good oral health.

Orthodontists vs Dentists – Orthodontic Treatments

Well, now is our time to shine.

Dental specialists such as ourselves here at Estes Orthodontics had to have completed additional programs after receiving our DDS or DMD. This specialized program includes other residencies and over 4800 hours of training to teach us everything we should know about safely moving our patients’ teeth and jaws to achieve an ideal relationship.

Orthodontists pursue a career focused on your teeth and jaw alignment. Everything we do aims to help give patients a beautiful smile. Thus, our specialized orthodontic services apply force over your dental structures to safely move them into the correct position.

We could classify the various types of treatment depending on your age or the type of braces and appliances you use to correct or prevent problems with your bite.

Depending On Your Braces and Other Appliances

That’s right; orthodontic services benefit from various types of braces, advancements in materials technology, and design innovations.

We rely primarily on this wide variety of appliances to help our patients choose the right option. We will always consider first what needs to happen with your teeth first. An orthodontist equipped with proper training knows that to safely turn, push, pull, and move each tooth, we need various tools and a lot of patience.

Next up, we also consider how these tools integrate into our patients’ lifestyles. You might prefer reliability and durability over how the appliance looks; others might value more a discreet appliance and choose to be more careful about what they eat. Some patients have a budget that includes perks such as removable and near-invisible trays.

You could consider any of the following:

  • Traditional Braces
    • Stainless Steel
    • Ceramic Compounds
  • Clear Aligners

Always ask your orthodontist about the types of braces available at their office and what each option entails.

Get In Touch With an Orthodontist

Estes orthodontics is a dental health practice determined to provide the highest level of dental care to our patients from Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, and Albany, CA.

You can get in touch with the team over the phone at (510) 525-1772 or schedule an appointment online. We will be thrilled to welcome you to our office located in Albany, CA. Here, you will find a team committed to helping you build a beautiful smile for a lifetime. Let us help you achieve that beautiful smile and swing by.

Dr. Estes and her team are committed to ensuring each patient and their families receive excellent care using state-of-the-art treatment options.