Orthodontist or Dentist: Whom Should You Choose? - Video Guide

For some orthodontic residency programs, as little as five out of the hundreds of doctors who apply are accepted. Video applications have become increasingly common in the selection process, allowing admissions committees to gain deeper insights into candidates' personalities and communication skills.

Many regular dentists do not have this supplementary training. A doctor may only call himself or herself a true “orthodontist” once he or she successfully completes a rigorous residency program.

Orthodontists and dentists both start their careers in dental school. This is where they learn the basics of dental care.

However, after dental school, orthodontists take a different path. They receive extra training to specialize in straightening teeth. This is similar to how medical doctors specialize in fields like cardiology or anesthesiology after medical school.

The main difference between orthodontist and dentist training lies in this additional education. Orthodontists focus on orthodontics services. This includes techniques and treatments for straightening teeth. Dentists provide general dental care but do not have this specialized training. This extra expertise is what sets orthodontists apart from dentists.

After dental school, only the top students in the class are able to continue their education toward a specialty in orthodontics.

Acceptance into an orthodontic residency program is extremely competitive. Only the top 5% of dental school graduates are even considered for admission to an orthodontic residency.


Can my family dentist

straighten my teeth?

The short answer is yes. General dentists may be able to provide orthodontic care to patients. However, this answer comes with a caveat.

General dentists can provide orthodontic care to patients, provided they take continuing education seminars and acquire some experience in the subject.

For example, general dentists are required to attend workshops before being allowed to offer Invisalign.

The problem with these workshops or seminars is the lack of rigorous testing and examinations needed to truly learn the material in depth.

In the field of orthodontics, sometimes only a superficial understanding is not enough to correctly provide the best possible treatment for patients.

What should I ask my primary care dentist if he or she offers orthodontic treatment to me?

When considering orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign from your primary care dentist, it's important to be well-informed. Here are seven key questions to ask your dentist about orthodontic treatment. These questions ensure you understand the process, benefits, and qualifications of your dentist in providing such care.

They perform daily teeth straightening procedures, stay up-to-date with the latest industry practices, purchase the latest equipment, and participate in continuing education classes focusing primarily on orthodontics.

An experienced orthodontist customizes braces treatments for each patient, unlike some doctors who use the same method for everyone.

Having a general dentist perform orthodontic work is like a general physician performing plastic surgery. It could be done, but would you risk it?

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Should I choose a

dentist or orthodontist for orthodontic care?

First, ask yourself a question: if someone has a heart condition, would they be treated by a primary care doctor or a cardiologist? Obviously, a cardiologist would have more specialization in matters of the heart. The same approach applies to teeth for choosing between dentist and orthodontist for orthodontic care.

Although the choice is up to you, remember that orthodontists focus solely on orthodontic issues and will likely have more experience dealing with your specific case.

Orthodontists specialize in long-term care for patients' teeth and jaws. This includes managing crooked teeth and other dental issues.

Their training goes beyond that of general dentists. Orthodontists study for years to understand the best treatment options. This expertise helps them plan effective treatments for tooth movement.

General dentists might offer orthodontic services after short courses. However, they often lack the depth of knowledge and experience of orthodontists.

Orthodontists specialize in moving teeth safely. They use methods like traditional metal braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. This expertise helps to avoid complications during treatment.

These dental professionals play a key role in general dentistry. They focus on overall oral health. Patients with wear braces learn how to brush and floss effectively. This care is essential for maintaining healthy teeth during orthodontic treatment.

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Plus, an orthodontist is better suited to recommend such plans and to notice things a dentist might overlook.

Why risk your health and seek treatment from someone with less knowledge? Teeth are not hair, if cut incorrectly they will not grow back.