The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

You may be wondering what the difference is between an orthodontist and a dentist. While both have the knowledge to keep your smile healthy, only an orthodontist has the expertise to straighten your smile.

The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

What is an orthodontist?

All orthodontists have gone through the same training as dentists, but have then gone on to complete an additional 2-3 years of specialised training. This postgraduate training is what earns them the designation of “Specialist Orthodontist.”

A Specialist Orthodontist focuses on correcting the bite and alignment of your teeth and jaws.

What is orthodontics?

The field of orthodontics focuses on facial profiles aligning your teeth and jaws through appliances such as braces or aligners. Orthodontics is about more than just straightening your smile; it can improve tooth health and breathing, chewing and speaking difficulties.

Orthodontics can treat a number of misalignments (also known as malocclusions) such as overbites, underbites, crossbites and crowding.

So what’s the difference?

This handy chart visually breaks down the different roles of a dentist and an orthodontist. While you undergo orthodontic treatment, it’s still important to maintain your regularly scheduled cleanings with your general dentist.

So what’s the difference?

Different roles of an orthodontist vs dentist

Orthodontist Dentist
Qualifications & Memberships
Bachelor of Dental Surgery (5 years)
Master of Orthodontics (MOrth)
(3 years)
General Dental Council Registered
Specialist in Orthodontics
Membership of professional
orthodontic bodies, eg. Australian
Society of Orthodontists
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.

Source: The Invisible Orthodontist

Could you benefit from
orthodontic treatment?

Book an in-practice or virtual appointment with us today to find out how orthodontics could improve your smile.

Could you benefit from
orthodontic treatment?

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