Whats the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

It’s no secret that taking care of your teeth is important. But when should you see an orthodontist versus a dentist for your oral health? Here are a few key things you need to know.

What is an orthodontist, anyway? Dr. Lynn Hurst, who has been in the field of orthodontics for 35 years, gives viewers the answer.

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An orthodontist deals specifically with the movement of teeth and the movement of jaws. Dr. Hurst explains that while both dentists and orthodontists attend dental school, orthodontists must complete an additional specialty residency before they can begin practicing.

Something important to note is that the number of orthodontists in the U.S. is dwarfed by the number of general dentists. This means that seeing an orthodontist may be a more difficult pursuit if you live in a rural area or your income falls below a certain threshold. Fortunately, services like Invisalign can help bridge the gap in those services in some instances.

Both dentists and orthodontists can help you care for your teeth. The difference lies in their specific areas of expertise and in their educational paths. If you’re not sure whether to contact a dentist or an orthodontist, don’t hesitate to consult with your dental provider first.


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