Difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

Who is a dentist?

A dentist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. 

tooth cavity

The dentist’s medical team includes dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental technicians. Dentists use a variety of tools and technologies to provide care for their patients.

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What services do dentists provide?

Below are some of the major services that dentists provide:

Dental X-rays

Dentists use a machine called an x-ray machine to take pictures of teeth and gums. The machine uses a very small amount of radiation to take pictures. 

Dentists put a film in the x-ray machine, and the machine takes pictures of the teeth and gums. The dentist then looks at the pictures to check for problems with the teeth or gums.

Fill cavities

Dentists use a number of different techniques to fill cavities. The most common method is to use a dental drill to remove the decay and then fill the space with a tooth-colored composite resin. This material is strong and looks natural. 

Another option is to use an amalgam filling, which is made of metal and other materials. Amalgams are less expensive than composites, but they are also more noticeable.

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Extract teeth

Dentists typically use one of two methods to extract teeth: simple extraction or surgical extraction. Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually with the help of forceps. 

Surgical extractions involve removing teeth that are broken off at the gum line or impacted, which requires making an incision in the gum tissue and often breaking the tooth into pieces before removing it.

Repair cracked teeth

Dentists can repair cracked teeth using a variety of methods. The type of repair that is best for a particular tooth will depend on the extent of the damage. For example, if the crack is small and does not extend below the gum line, the dentist may simply smooth out the rough edges of the tooth. 

If the crack is larger or extends below the gum line, the dentist may need to place a dental filling or crown (cap) on the tooth.

Promote oral health and oral hygiene

Dentists take care of oral hygiene by cleaning teeth, examining patients for oral diseases, and providing education on proper oral care. They use a variety of tools to clean teeth, including toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash. 

Dentists may also recommend fluoride treatments to help prevent tooth decay.

Treat gum disease, such as gingivitis

Dentists treat gum diseases such as gingivitis by scaling and root planing the teeth. This involves removing tartar and plaque from the teeth and roots and then smoothing the roots to allow the gums to reattach to the teeth. 

In severe cases, dentists may also prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection.

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Whiten teeth

A teeth whitening procedure is typically performed by a licensed dentist. The dentist will first assess the patient’s teeth to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure. 

If the patient’s teeth are determined to be healthy enough for the procedure, the dentist will then proceed to whiten the teeth. 

The teeth whitening process usually involves applying a bleaching agent to the teeth and then using a special light to activate the bleaching agent. This process can typically take one to two hours to complete.

Install crowns or veneers

Dentists install crowns or veneers by first removing a small amount of enamel from the tooth. They then take an impression of the tooth and create a model. 

Next, they choose the appropriate size and shape of crown or veneer for the tooth. The crown or veneer is then placed on the tooth and secured with bonding material.

Who is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. 

tooth extraction: Green Dental

Orthodontists use braces, retainers, and other appliances to correct teeth and jaws that are not in their proper position.

Which services do orthodontists provide?

Below are some of the common services that orthodontists provide:

Supervise facial growth (jawline and bite) in children

Orthodontists are able to supervise facial growth in children in a number of ways. First, they can monitor the child’s mouth and teeth to ensure that they are growing properly. 

Additionally, they can keep track of the child’s overall facial development to ensure that it is progressing normally. 

Finally, if there are any issues with the child’s facial growth, the orthodontist can provide treatment or refer the child to a specialist for further care.

Dental implants

Orthodontists can also perform dental implants for their patients. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.

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Diagnose and treat misaligned teeth and jaws (malocclusion)

Orthodontists diagnose and treat misaligned teeth and jaws. They use a variety of methods to straighten teeth and correct bite problems. 

Orthodontic treatment can improve the appearance of your smile and your overall oral health.

Create a treatment plan that includes braces and retainers

Orthodontists use braces and veneers to correct dental problems and improve the appearance of teeth. 

Braces are metal or ceramic brackets that are glued to the teeth and held in place with wires. 

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that cover the front of the teeth. They are used to correct gaps, misaligned teeth, and other cosmetic dental problems.

Perform teeth straightening surgery

Orthodontists use a variety of methods to straighten teeth, including braces, clear aligners, and other appliances. The type of appliance used depends on the severity of the misalignment. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the alignment. 

During surgery, the orthodontist will make small adjustments to the bones and tissues surrounding the teeth. This can be done through traditional open surgery or minimally invasive techniques. 

Once the surgery is complete, the orthodontist will place braces or another appliance on the teeth to hold them in their new position.

The overall difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

The overall difference between a dentist and an orthodontist is that an orthodontist specializes in correcting teeth and jaws that are not properly aligned, while a dentist focuses on more general oral health. 

An orthodontist often has to complete more schooling than a dentist, and they use different tools to correct teeth alignment issues. For example, an orthodontist might use braces or other devices to slowly move teeth into the proper position, while a dentist might use fillings or crowns to fix more minor issues.

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