Both Dentists and Orthodontists treat patients with the goal of improving their oral health, but they each have a different focus. Within the field of dentistry, dentists work with teeth, gums, nerves and the jaw. Orthodontics, a field within dentistry, focuses on the alignment of teeth, bites, and occlusion.

Your oral health is very important in maintaining your general health, and it should not be taken for granted. Depending on your dental issues, you will need to see a dentist or an orthodontist. Bow Valley Dental can help you book services within orthodontics in Downtown Calgary, or with a

Dentist Vs. Orthodontist: Education

At the start of their careers, the educational background of a dentist and an orthodontist will be the same. Both professions require a degree to practice and to pass a certification exam. The exam will help prove they have the knowledge required to work with patients. Both need a bachelor’s degree to be able to apply for medical school, where they complete a four-year doctoral program. After graduating, a general dentist can start practicing dentistry.

After graduation, to become an orthodontist, dentists will need to complete a two or three-year residency in orthodontics. This will get them a certification stating they have completed a residency and are recognized as orthodontists.

Overall, they both need higher education. A dentist will need to complete eight years and an orthodontist eleven. Orthodontists study longer to specialize in their field.

What Do Dentists Do?

The priority of a dentist is to examine and treat the patient’s oral health. A dentist’s job is to perform regular checkups, spot and treat cavities, treat gum disease, and address oral hygiene to ensure a patient’s oral health is in check. Dentists, when necessary, can also perform procedures such as tooth extraction, bonding, veneers and crowns. After years of education, dentists will know how to help patients and ensure they are correctly taking care of their teeth. If a dentist near you is not qualified to perform a specific procedure, they will refer the patient to a specialist.

What Do Orthodontists Do?

Orthodontists have the same educational background as dentists but have studied further to learn their specialization. They are the first dentists who then specialize in a focused area of dentistry. They offer a variety of treatments for different dental issues, including crowded or spaced teeth, teeth that are out of place and stick out, and misaligned jaws. They use different techniques for treatment, such as braces and aligners, among other appliances.

Dental clinics that offer orthodontics near you may also request x-rays and photographs of the patient’s teeth. This helps orthodontists work on each unique case. They use these to facilitate treatment and help them understand the structure of the patient’s mouth.

Who Would You Need for Your Oral Issue?

By understanding the difference between each dental professional, you’ll be able to determine where to go for your next treatment.

In summary, a dentist is a primary oral care provider that will diagnose, treat and prevent issues for your oral health. They perform routine checkups, cleanings and exams that promote your oral health. Your dentist in Downtown Calgary will also repair and remove your teeth in case of an issue and provide additional services within cosmetic dentistry for patients who want to improve their smiles. An orthodontist will align your teeth and jaw using non-surgical procedures. They will treat bite issues such as underbite, overbite, crooked teeth or spaced teeth.

If you are still unsure of who you should visit for a specific treatment, contact our Bow Valley Dental. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and help you throughout your dental journey.