Dentists and orthodontists are both health professionals that deal with problems involved in the maintenance and care of the teeth. When most people think of orthodontists, they think of braces, while most people think of dentists when they think of teeth cleaning and repair. From this standpoint, you are actually not far from the mark. This is one of the most basic differences between the two professions. However, there is more than that, as you will find as we take a closer look at the two dental specialties. |
Dentists must attend college and obtain a four year degree before moving on to an advanced school of dentistry. There they must complete an additional four years of training in the specifics of dentistry before being given both oral, written, and practical exams which will give them the degree and the license to practice in their state of education. As a professional, they will be primarily concerned with the teeth and other issues that might arise in the mouth such as gum disease. Repairing teeth, performing advanced procedures, and performing general checkups are all a part of their everyday jobs. Some dentists will also play educator to their patients, particularly those who treat young children.
This may come as a surprise to some, but orthodontists are actually licensed dental professionals. What sets them apart is that they completed a special orthodontic residency after obtaining their advanced degree. This residency could last two years or even longer, depending on the state and the university. Orthodontists will not be as concerned with dental health (though that will certainly be a peripheral part of their practice) as they will be with the proper alignment of the teeth and jaw. Correcting overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth are the specialty of the orthodontist. To that end, they will make use of braces, retainers, and other tools of the trade to help their patients achieve straight teeth.
To make practical use of this information, you should make basic inquiries into the background of your teeth experts. See to it that they have completed the required education for your state and are not trying to pass themselves off as something they are not. There are frauds in every line of work, and dentistry is no exception to this rule. Avoid getting into trouble by asking the right questions and doing your homework. Your teeth are too important to put them into the hands of someone who does not have the education and experience to care for them.
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