Many people use the terms orthodontist and dentist interchangeably. That’s an improper use of the terms, however. Many differences exist between dentists and orthodontics specialists. These are a few that you can easily understand.

Different Focus

The main difference between an orthodontic professional and a regular dentist is their main area of focus. A dentist is a general practitioner that focuses on overall oral cavity health. This person usually gives patients hygiene advice and helps them to either maintain oral health or resolve decay. A dentist can help with issues such as teeth cleaning, fillings, root canals, extractions and more. He or she can sometimes do extensive work such as planing or grafting for gum disease patients, as well.

An orthodontist’s main area of focus is on alignment. This person is geared to assist people with problems such as gaps, bucked teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites and so forth. This person can also help with other conditions such as TMJ and sleep apnea. He or she may have access to labs that can create devices for such conditions. Usually, orthos work with braces, aligners, headgear and other products that resolve the previously mentioned issues.

Dentists and orthodontists can sometimes delve into each other’s specialties. They also care about all of their patients with the same sincerity. However, people must realize that a difference does exist between the two of them. A patient goes to see a dentist to get checkups and maintain dental health. The patient sees a dentist if there is an infection or decay. This person sees an ortho in Berkeley or El Cerrito if there is an alignment issue. That specialist then works with the patient to store a beautiful smile and rebuild the self-esteem and confidence.

Different Training

Dentists and orthodontists have different training, as well. Orthodontists train to be dentists before they become orthodontists. Dentists do not have the extra training that would transform them into orthodontists.

Now that you know the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist, you can make an appointment with the appropriate provider to have him or her meet your needs.