The Difference Between An Orthodontist And A Dentist

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? These two professionals specialize in the same areas of dentistry, but each of them has different training and experience. A dentist can become an orthodontist by completing additional schooling, similar to what would be necessary for a surgeon. Orthodontists have three years of postgraduate study and are in great demand.

Dental school

To become an orthodontist, you must complete an advanced dental education, or orthodontist school, followed by residency training. Residents will learn how to treat minor and difficult orthodontic problems, such as a misaligned underbite, and specialize in this field. A dentist must have at least four years of dental school and complete an orthodontist residency program in order to practice.

A dentist attends dental school for four years, and they specialize in several aspects of general oral health. They perform x-rays, clean teeth, and fill cavities caused by tooth decay. While dentists are trained to deal with many oral health problems, orthodontists are more skilled and educated in specific areas. The training they receive differs, so there are some fundamental differences between dentists and orthodontists.

An orthodontist has more advanced training and experience than a dentist. While both are trained to help patients with oral health issues, orthodontists are highly-specialized dentists who specialize in the misalignment of teeth or jaws. In addition to helping people with their teeth, orthodontists also help patients avoid or treat dental diseases. In some cases, they may also offer cosmetic dental services.

Treatment options

When deciding which provider to choose for orthodontic treatment, there are several factors to consider. Orthodontists have advanced training and are experienced in treating complex cases. General dentists may be tempted to try trial-and-error and leave your case untreated. Or they may refer you to a board-eligible orthodontist who can better handle your orthodontic needs. Both types of providers have different skill sets, and their treatments will be tailored to your unique needs.

A dental specialist’s training and experience set them apart from a general dentist, who rarely sees an orthodontist. A dentist can diagnose and treat oral health problems, but an orthodontist will focus on the best treatment approach for you. Dentists can also identify medical conditions and risk factors, including tobacco use and pregnancy. They also install dental appliances like braces.

Early orthodontic treatment can prevent gum disease and improve the relationship between the lower and upper jaws. It may also prevent further dental work down the road. Early treatment may include simple, inexpensive procedures that only require close monitoring. The results will be better than if the treatment were to wait until the adult teeth erupted. A dentist may also recommend a partial orthodontic treatment, which corrects a single tooth or two, but requires less hardware and time.


The cost of an orthodontist and corresponding dental care differs greatly. The price of treatment in New York City is more than double the national average. Although there are many dentists in the city, the overhead costs of running an office in New York City are significantly higher. This means that an orthodontist in New York must charge more than someone in a rural area. To avoid this problem, consider choosing a dentist in a suburban area or in a rural area.

Some people use their flexible spending accounts to pay for their orthodontic treatment. The money that accumulates in these accounts must be used within a year or else the employer forfeits the money. In addition to medical benefits, many orthodontists offer flexible payment plans to accommodate patients’ budgets. Some even offer interest-free financing so that they can spread the payments out over two years. While this may seem like a lot, many people are not prepared for this expense.

The cost of dental braces may be covered by your dental insurance plan. If you have a condition that requires orthodontic care, you can check with your insurance company to see what they cover for dental braces. A dentist may not be covered by your insurance but will often cover the costs of a dental brace if they are medically necessary.

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