Orthodontists vs General Dentists

What's one of the first things people will notice about you? Your smile.

General dentists and orthodontists often work together to improve the way a person’s smile looks and also functions. But, many patients can find the two terms confusing.

So, what exactly does a general dentist do? And the orthodontist? Which one could help you more? Find out the answers in this short blog post!

What a General Dentist Does

General dentists are usually your first point of contact for all dental health issues. From dealing with a cavity to wanting to whiten your teeth or even replace missing teeth, your general dentist is the one that can help you get all these issues fixed.

General Dentist Qualifications and Treatments Provided 

To become a general dentist, a person needs:

  • A bachelor’s degree, along with a few pre-requisite courses
  • To complete a 4-years dental school program
  • To pass the licensing exam in the state where they want to practice

Once they finish all their studies and get the necessary certifications, general dentists can provide any of the following services:

  • Preventive treatments (dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, etc.)
  • Root canals
  • Dental extractions
  • Dental restoration
  • Periodontal disease treatment, etc.

What an Orthodontist Does

Orthodontists are specialists in improving tooth alignment. Having misaligned teeth doesn’t just affect how your smile looks, but it can also lead to an improper bite, speech impediments, sleep apnea, and more.

General dentists will refer a patient to an orthodontist whenever there is a more serious case of misalignment.

Orthodontist Qualifications and Treatments Provided 

First, orthodontists will follow the same path as general dentists and get a bachelor’s degree, go through a 4-year dental program, and get their license.

After that, orthodontists continue their studies and follow a 2-year residency program. They can only begin practicing once they get a board certification in orthodontics. 

Once they do, they can provide a variety of services:

  • Metal braces
  • Invisalign and other clear aligners
  • Adding and removing space maintainers
  • Headgear
  • Jaw repositioning, etc.

Working with a General Dentist or an Orthodontist?

Both general dentists and orthodontists work to help you get a healthier smile. Usually, even if you do have alignment issues, patients will see a general dentist first, after which they will be referred to an orthodontist for specialized care.

At 320 Dental Studio, you can conveniently find both types of services, meaning you can take care of all your smile’s needs in just one place.

What to Expect at 320 Dental Studio

No matter what dental issue you’re dealing with, Dr. Joseph Haack will first want to see you for a consultation, where he will closely inspect your teeth and determine what types of treatments you need for a healthier and happier smile.

To get started, you can book an appointment at 320 Dental Studio online, or call us at (320) 763-7484 for more information. 

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