Regardless of the type of issues that you may be having with your mouth, oral health is something that should never be taken lightly. Since your mouth is the gateway to your overall health, this means that both your body and teeth need all sorts of nutritious foods. It’s also important to determine whether a dentist or orthodontist is the best professional to help you with any oral issues that you may be dealing with.
It’s important first to note that both dentists and orthodontists will have educational backgrounds that are similar in nature. This means that they are both required to obtain a bachelor’s degree, then apply to attend dental school. Once they are accepted, they must then complete a doctoral program, which lasts for a total of four years. Regarding a dentist, they may only begin to practice general dentistry only after they graduate. Dentists will earn one of two degrees:
For someone to become an orthodontist, a dentist is required to serve an orthodontics residency in a program that is both approved by the American Dental Association and affiliated with the university in which they are attending. This residency will last anywhere from two to three years in length. An orthodontist will always be certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, which is known as the only board that specializes in orthodontics that is officially recognized by the American Dental Association. Orthodontists will typically tag their names with the following:
*MS (master of science)
Before being able to practice, both dentists and orthodontists must first go through an extensive amount of schooling. Dentists must complete a total of eight years of education, while orthodontists must go through 10 or 11.
Do You Need a Dentist or Orthodontist for Your Oral Issue?
Now that you know all of the basics regarding both dentists and orthodontists, you will then need to determine if your specific oral issue that you’re dealing with requires one or the other for care.
A dentist will be the one to diagnose, treat, and manage all of your basic oral health care, which includes routine tasks like checkups, X-rays, and basic cleanings. However, a dentist may also need to remove bad teeth, construct models for dentures, and fill in any cavities that you may have. Some of the basic treatments offered by a dentist include the following:
*Basic gum care
There are many dentist’s offices that employ many dental hygienists. These are individuals who will often take care of tasks such as cleanings and X-rays; however, they also provide assistance to the dentist with various other tasks as well.
If you need dental care that is outside of what the dentist can provide to you, they will often refer you to another specialist – in this case, an orthodontics expert. These professionals specialize in making sure that both your teeth and jaws are properly aligned using procedures that don’t involve surgery. For instance, you may be referred to an orthodontist if it’s found that you have an underbite, overbite, teeth that are overcrowded, etc. It will then be determined which of the following types of treatments will work the best with not only straightening your teeth, but also retraining your mouth muscles:
Many orthodontists work in offices that are separate from dentists; however, there are some dental providers who choose to offer on-site orthodontists to help make everything a lot more comfortable and convenient for patients.
Whenever you take care of your teeth, your smile will look so much better and cleaner as a result. Perhaps more importantly, though, is the fact that so many of your natural teeth will remain intact longer thanks to avoiding issues such as tooth decay, periodontal disease, and so much more. Many of these oral issues can lead to health problems such as malnutrition, obesity, and believe it or not, even heart disease.
Having even a single bad tooth can start a severe chain reaction in your mouth. This means that if it remains untreated, it can become infected, loss of your jawbone, and loss of movement of your remaining teeth, among other issues. This means that it’s better to get that one tooth treated as soon as possible rather than waiting until later on, which would only result in the treatment of several more.
Getting regular checkups with your dentist is the best and most efficient way to prevent any major issues from taking place later on down the road. This means that when you begin to experience a toothache, you should consider scheduling an appointment immediately rather than waiting for your normal six-month checkup.