Are Dentists and Orthodontists the Same?
Dentists and orthodontists are trained physicians that are in related fields but serve very different purposes. Dentists take care of the general health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. Orthodontists are dentists that go further and receive special training in the alignment, positioning, and placement of teeth and jaws and if necessary, can correct any serious issues with any of those problems. How do I know if I need to see an orthodontist? Generally, the dentist will refer a patient to the orthodontist and then throughout the treatment plan, the two will work closely together. If the dentist notices problems with the positioning and placement of the teeth that could cause potential health problems, he will make the recommendation that orthodontic treatment is in order.
What are the duties of an orthodontist? The field of orthodontia is a field of dentistry that specializes in diagnosing and treating teeth that are not positioned correctly or are out of alignment. Orthodontists also treat problems with the positioning of the jaws. Orthodontists receive a great deal of specialized training beyond dentistry in order to prevent and treat these issues. A good analogy is a general doctor who goes beyond and receives additional training to become a specialist.
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.