Sometimes people don’t know who to visit for their dental problems, this is because they do not know the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. They both deal with dental problems and may sometimes work together to ensure that your dental problems are taken care of but they clearly work in different manners. Orthodontic treatment is considered a speciality and it is concerned with the treatment of improperly placed jaws, crooked teeth and improper bites. The treatment helps to put the patient’s teeth in the right place using braces and teeth aligners to set the patients teeth in the required manner.
Difference Between Orthodontist and a General Dentist
Orthodontists will often refer you to a general dentist for cavities, cleaning, removal and other dentistry problems. Dentists will also refer you to orthodontists for specialised dental care. An orthodontist is a dentist who has taken additional specialised schooling to specialise in a specific area of dentistry and can, therefore, work as a dentist. Dentistry is a general medical speciality that deals with jaws, gum, nerves and teeth while orthodontics is a speciality of dentistry and it focuses on the straightness of the teeth, occlusion and correcting bites. All orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists.
When Do You Need an Orthodontist?
In most times, only a dentist can determine if you need specialised care from an orthodontist. This is based on the tests that the dentist will use to diagnose your problem. The dentist will perform the following treatments:
- Gum disease
- Teeth whitening
- Root canal problems
- Bridges and fillings
- Tooth decay
A dentist will also provide your primary dental care including diagnosing, check-ups, cleaning, x-rays and manage your general oral requirements. He will also deal with removing and filling of cavities. An orthodontist, on the other hand, will diagnose and recommend a non-surgical procedure that will straighten or treat your dental deformities best. If you have some of the following conditions, you may be advised to seek for orthodontic treatment.
- The spacing between teeth – This may be as a result of missing teeth or spaced growth of teeth leaving gaps in between.
- Crowding – This is having many teeth than required for the dental ridge to handle.
- Overbite – This is when the upper front teeth stick out too far over the lower teeth. Also called buck teeth.
- Open bite – This is when the surfaces of the teeth do not touch when jaws are shut.
- Under bite – when the lower teeth stretch forward than the upper teeth.
- Misplaced midline – This is when the centre of your upper jaw is not lined up with the centre of your lower jaws.
- Cross bite – This is when the upper front teeth do not come slightly in front of the lower front teeth when the jaw is shut together
Your orthodontist will use braces, wires, retainers and other tools to correct your dental formation. He will evaluate your condition and determine the best treatment for you that will be more comfortable and convenient. For adults, the orthodontist may decide to use aligners instead of the traditional braces as they are virtually invisible and are removed for brushing, eating and flossing.
Patients should continue seeing their dentists during the orthodontic treatment for routine check-ups and cleaning. Dentists and orthodontists work together to ensure your oral health is taken care of.
Need an orthodontist in Glasgow? Contact the Berkeley Clinic