The Battle of the Teeth: Orthodontist v Dentist



As a parent, you want what's best for your child's teeth. You want them to have the perfect smile and be confident in their appearance. But when it comes to maintaining your child's oral health, it can be confusing to know which dental professional to turn to. Should you take your child to a dentist or an orthodontist? In this blog post, we're going to settle the battle of the teeth and help you make an informed decision!

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Dentist v. Orthodontist — What's the Difference?

Dentists and orthodontists serve different functions in the world of oral health. A dentist is a medical professional who provides general oral health care services. They offer basic cleanings, fillings, and extractions, they are trained to treat common dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. By contrast, orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating dental problems related to misaligned teeth, jaw issues, and bite problems. So, orthodontists are the specialists who can help with orthodontic treatment.

When to See a Dentist

When it comes to check-ups or general oral health concerns, a dentist is the way to go. You don't require an orthodontist’s services unless there is an evident problem with the teeth such as crowded teeth, gaps between them, or bite issues. If there's an issue with your child's teeth that a dentist cannot treat, they'll likely refer you to an orthodontist.

When to See an Orthodontist

Orthodontic treatment is a specialized field and requires additional training after dental school. When a dentist determines that an orthodontic treatment may be needed, they provide you with a referral to a specialist. Orthodontic treatment can range from braces to clear aligners and requires nuanced expertise. Orthodontists spend years studying and learning about how to effectively treat orthodontic issues.

There's no one "right time" to see an orthodontist - it all depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Whether you're considering braces for your teenager, clear aligners for yourself, or want to get ahead of any potential orthodontic issues for your younger child, it's always best to consult with a professional to determine the best course of action. Check out these common signs you need braces, and when you're ready, schedule a free consultation with an orthodontist!

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When it comes to your child’s dental health, you don't have to choose between a qualified dentist or orthodontist. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make a more informed decision on which specialist could best address your child's oral health needs.

Remember, a dentist is perfect for general check-ups, cleanings, and basic dental treatments, whereas an orthodontist is the specialist for specialized, orthodontic treatment. But at the end of the day, regardless of who you choose, make sure they have the experience and qualifications to give your child the smile they deserve!

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Northwest Orthodontics is located in Centerton, Fort Smith, & Fayetteville, AR but happily serves Bentonville, Farmington, Springdale, Rogers, Johnson Prairie Grove, West Fork, Tontitown, The River Valley, and Northwest Arkansas. The contents of are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Copying without permission is strictly forbidden.

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