What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Most people think of orthodontists only as the professionals who put on braces and take patients through that process. The truth is orthodontists are so much more! They have the same basic training as dentists, but go the extra mile for specialization in things concerning teeth, the jaw, and alignment of both. You can think of these specialists as highly trained dentists who can provide a more specific services for you. So whether your looking for an orthodontist Cordova TN or Seattle, WA, knowing what they can do for you will make choosing the right doctor much easier.

Dentist vs. Orthodontist

You might be wondering what the difference between your dentist and orthodontist is because they have similar educational backgrounds. It’s true that both these professionals typically attend a dental program and then go on to get their medical degree, but orthodontists have a bit more schooling after becoming an M.D. They usually continue into an orthodontics program where they can study further and do a residency working with patients in an orthodontic office or school. This little bit of extra schooling and focus on the intricacies of the dental practice is what sets them apart from general dentists.

Now that you know these two doctors don’t do quite the same thing, you might be wondering who you should call to fix your dental problem. The short answer is try a dentist first. General dentists can take care of most common tooth issues such as cavities, pain, root canals, or tooth extraction. Usually you don’t end up at an orthodontists office unless your dentist has referred you or suggested an orthodontists may be a better person to solve your particular problem. 

Orthodontists can help with more than just braces, and your general dentist can help you to determine if you need special help or not.