Specialist Orthodontist vs dentist

Understanding the difference between a dentist and a Specialist Orthodontist can help you gain clarity on the ways these two important professionals can benefit your smile.

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

All orthodontists once started as dentists, so they know how to take care of the health of your smile. To become an orthodontist, they must then continue with 3 years of postgraduate studies to specialise in the field of orthodontics.

Specialist Orthodontists focus on straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignment with braces and aligners, while a dentist is most concerned with oral hygiene and the health of the teeth and gums. Dentists can help you with gum disease and tooth decay, as well as general cleanings.

So, it makes sense that orthodontics is best left in the hands of a specialist Orthodontist. However, you should always continue to see your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment plan. They will continue to monitor your oral health.

Here is a chart to help you understand the distinct roles of dentists and Specialist Orthodontists:

Qualifications & Memberships Orthodontist Dentist
Bachelor of Dental Surgery (5 years)
Master of Orthodontics (MOrth) (3 years)
Member of professional orthodontic bodies, eg. Australian Society of Orthodontics
Treatments & Services
General 6-month check up
Fillings & extractions
Cleaning & polishing
Advises on overall oral health of teeth and gums
Fitting of orthodontic appliances, such as braces & Invisalign aligners Some general dentists may fit braces and Invisalign but they are not specialists in orthodontics
Experience & training
Is specifically trained in the movement of teeth and bite issues
Recommends and treats patients after assessing overall facial profile
Uses the latest in orthodontic technology for the benefit of patients
Attends regular training on developments in the orthodontic industry
Is a member of The Invisible Orthodontist (TIO) Network Not all orthodontists are members of TIO but those that are demonstrate further commitment to promoting invisible orthodontic treatment.

Ready for your new smile?

If you think a Specialist Orthodontist could help your smile, book a free no-obligation consultation today to meet with Dr Dima.

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