Orthodontist vs. Dentist

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

It’s important to understand the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist so you’ll know which type of specialist you should visit when you have an oral health problem. While both a dentist and an orthodontist can help you keep your smile healthy, they perform very different services. A dentist deals with general issues involving your gum and tooth health, providing routine exams, cleanings, and minor dental work like fillings. On the other hand, an orthodontist is a specialty area within the dentistry field, which corrects structural problems involving your teeth and bite. An orthodontist may be a good option if you suffer from gaps between your teeth, overbite, or other, more complex structural issues with your teeth.

What services can an orthodontist provide?

The following orthodontic services are available from the dental professionals at Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Texas:

What services can a dentist provide?

A dentist is usually known for providing the following services during a short in-office visit:

  • Routine dental exams
  • Mouth cancer screenings
  • Tooth fillings
  • Dental cleanings
  • Denture repair/care
  • Tooth X-rays
  • Dental replacements/crowns

When is an orthodontist needed instead of a dentist?

Choosing between an orthodontist and a dentist can seem confusing. However, we’ve compiled some of the most common symptoms and conditions that may warrant visiting an orthodontist rather than a dentist. Consult one of our experts at Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics if you experience any of the following oral health problems:

  • Clicking feeling or sound when opening mouth or moving jaw
  • Malocclusions (bite misalignments), such as:
    • Overbite
    • Underbite
    • Crossbite
    • Open bite
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) pain
  • Sleep apnea or snoring
  • Orthodontic emergencies/trauma to the face
  • Difficulting chewing
  • Tooth overcrowding
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Misaligned teeth

When should I bring my child to see an orthodontist

If you or your child are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and conditions, it’s important to visit a dental professional, such as Dr. Doug Crosby, as soon as you can. Children, in particular, should visit an orthodontist by the age of 7 even if no symptoms are present. This is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists in order to catch any developmental issues that can be treated early, using two step treatment, to avoid complications later.

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