Orthodontist or Dentist?

What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? 

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What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who has undertaken additional education and training in straightening teeth and choosing the best treatment option specifically for you, or your child.

Orthodontists – Specialise in aligning jaws and straightening teeth and have expert knowledge of new and emerging technologies to create beautiful smiles.

Dentists – Clean teeth, fill cavities and check your general oral health.

A general dentist receives broad training across all fields of dentistry, however they are not a specialist in moving teeth.

Dentists are often the first to recognise you may have an orthodontic problem. By working together, a orthodontist-dentist partnership can achieve the best results for your oral health – and your smile.

Orthodontists specialise in creating beautiful smiles.

As part of your dental team, a specialist orthodontist has the ability to align your teeth to help create beautiful smiles – but it is not just about straight teeth.

Orthodontists are dentists who have undertaken additional specialist study full-time at university to become registered specialists in orthodontics.

Orthodontists are the most qualified specialists to plan, create and retain your new smile. Obtaining the best bite is also important when undertaking treatment. Too often patients are led to believe that achieving straight front teeth is what orthodontic treatment is all about. As orthodontists, not only can we create an improved smile but one that is harmonious and balanced with an individual’s profile.

Although moving teeth seems like a simple process, it is not. Make sure you entrust your/your child’s teeth, bite and smile to the most qualified person – a trained and registered specialist orthodontist.

To become an orthodontist in Australia you must:

  • Complete an AHPRA registered general dental degree.
  • Have the equivalent of at least two years clinical experience as a dentist.
  • Complete an accredited three year full-time university degree in orthodontics.
  • Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics

Some private health funds also rebate the fees for orthodontic treatment at different rates. A specialist orthodontist’s patient receives a more generous rebate.

Don’t risk seeing someone who is not a specialist and not adequately trained to look after your – or your child’s – teeth and jaws.

There are many supposed “specialists” offering cheap, alternative, or one-size-fits-all solutions. Unfortunately these treatments could be risking your dental health and eventually, your hip pocket.

Alternative treatments currently being offered include those promising to avoid braces in children by doing a range of different things, or offering rapidly accelerated treatment time. In most cases these treatments lack scientific evidence and the results may not last without further treatment.

Talk to a qualified orthodontist for an expert opinion before spending money on alternative treatments. An orthodontist has been specifically trained and is the most qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat issues to do with the alignment of teeth and jaws and ensure you, or your child, ends up with a smile you love and a bite and jaw that function properly.

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Want to learn more? 

Our friendly staff are happy to assist with any questions you might have.

Please contact our Liverpool practice on (02) 9821 2413 or Carlingford on (02) 9873 2226

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