What Are the Differences Between Orthodontics and Dentistry?

It’s common to see advertisements for dentistry and orthodontic services side by side. This sometimes leads to confusion. Even though these fields have a lot in common, the area of focus is different.

Your overall health and well-being is influenced by your dental health. If your teeth are in bad shape, it won’t just have a negative impact on the way you look. It can also lead to health issues. You may have to deal with painful toothaches from time to time. You could have trouble consuming hot or cold beverages. To avoid these kinds of problems, you’ll want to make sure you regularly brush your teeth and visit your dentist for routine teeth cleaning.

What Dentistry and Orthodontics Have In Common

There are some clear commonalities between dentistry and orthodontics. Both fields deal with the inner mechanism and construction of teeth. Orthodontics is considered to be a subset of dentistry. However, it has a clearly defined area of focus.

Dentists and orthodontists both begin their education with dental science training. During their first two years at university, students will study topics like anatomy and physiology, biology, and pharmacology. During the next two years, students in both fields will participate in hands-on programs or internships at dental clinics.

What Separates Dentistry and Orthodontics?

The key differences between these two fields begin after students have completed university and earned their degree. From there, dentists and orthodontics will focus on different areas.

In some locations, dentists will need to complete residency courses before they can begin working in their field. In others, dentists may be able to begin their careers right after school. No matter what, dentists will be focused on general dental care. If you’re dealing with a dental issue, you’ll visit a dentist first. Dentists will examine your teeth, assess your dental hygiene, and diagnose dental health problems, such as oral cancer and various diseases. Dentists can also provide routine cleanings to help you keep your teeth healthy and clean. Deep cleanings can reduce your risk for developing gingivitis.

Orthodontists must receive most advanced training. They won’t be able to begin their career until after they’ve completed additional residency classes. Orthodontists are primarily focused on your bite and the alignment of your teeth. If your teeth need to be straightened via an orthodontic brace or other methods, you’ll want to work with an orthodontist. If you’re having issues with your bite, it’s also likely that you’ll be referred to an orthodontist. For example, if you have a weak bite, an orthodontist may be able to help you get to the bottom of the problem.

Even though there are key differences between dentistry and orthodontics, there are also many similarities. The field of dentistry is fairly broad, while orthodontics is specialized and is primarily focused on correcting issues with bite and teeth alignment. If you’re seeking assistance for a dental issue, please reach out to us today! Whether you need to see a dentist or an orthodontist, we’d be glad to give you the assistance that you need.