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Are Orthodontists Dentists?

Posted on July 7, 2024

Just like in any other medical field, there are different specialties in the world of dental care. Many people care deeply about how their teeth look, so orthodontic services continue to be popular. However, there is often confusion surrounding the role of orthodontists in the dental sphere. Are you wondering whether orthodontists are dentists? Read on for more insight.

Education

The short answer is yes, an orthodontist is a dentist. However, not all dentists are orthodontists. Your local orthodontist has completed additional education than a general dental practitioner, making them a dental specialist. According to WebMD, they spend an additional two or three years in an orthodontic residency program.

Specialty

After their special education is complete, an orthodontist has a specialty in the alignment of the teeth and jaw. Patients can go to them for bite issues such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. Your orthodontist can fit you for traditional braces, clear aligners, Invisalign, and more. Plus, if you develop sleep issues due to your alignment issues, your orthodontist can prescribe various devices such as a CPAP machine or mouth guard.

Prevention

An orthodontist tries to prevent alignment issues from occurring as early as possible. According to the American Orthodontic Association, kids can begin seeing an orthodontist as early as seven years old. While it may be too early for a child this age to get regular braces, their orthodontist can begin monitoring the alignment and use special techniques or appliances to guide incoming tooth sprouts. They may use digital monitoring machines, space maintainers, and partial braces to help permanent teeth come in correctly.

Customization

It’s important to understand that your local orthodontist doesn’t treat every patient as one size fits all. They monitor your specific situation based on multiple factors to see which type of orthodontic care is best for you. For example, if you have a severe overbite, you may need traditional braces, whereas if you have slight alignment issues, Invisalign may be best.

As you can see, orthodontists are highly qualified professionals with years of training under their belts. The right orthodontist can provide a straight, healthy smile that a patient can wear with pride. Are you looking for an orthodontist for yourself or your child? When you visit our office at Parker Orthodontics, you’ll be under the care of a board-certified specialist and member of the American Association of Orthodontists. Contact us today for a consultation.