What's The Difference Between An Orthodontist & Dentist?

What's The Difference Between An Orthodontist & Dentist?
Posted on 10/25/2017

What's The Difference Between an Orthodontist and Dentist?

Dentist speaking with woman patient

Good dental care is a key aspect of your overall health and well-being. While you probably know that you must take good care of your teeth and gums by visiting your general dentist every six months or so for checkups, it can be confusing to know when you should visit a Paris, TN orthodontist. While an orthodontist and a dentist can both help improve your oral health, the two health care providers go about it in different ways. To help you better understand how an orthodontist and dentist differ, we’ve put together the information below that should help!


What Does A Dentist Treat?

A dentist encourages good oral hygiene and provides services to his/her patients to help improve the health and appearance of their smiles. Some of these services include:

  • Oral examinations & teeth cleanings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Root canals
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening

If your family dentist sees that you have an orthodontic problem like crooked or crowded teeth, he or she will most likely recommend that you visit an orthodontist for an evaluation.


What Does An Orthodontist Treat?

Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of the teeth and jaws. An orthodontist is focused solely on providing his or her patients with treatment to address issues like:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Malocclusions (“bad bites”) like overbites, underbites, and open bites

An orthodontist uses orthodontic appliances like metal and ceramic braces and Invisalign aligners to bring the teeth into proper alignment. Most orthodontists provide early treatment for children, adolescent treatment for teenagers, and adult treatment for adults.

An orthodontist can also provide treatment for TMD which is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This treatment often involves using orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort and for redirecting the position of the TMJ joint.


Contact Your Orthodontist For Paris, TN Invisalign and Braces

At McClain Orthodontics, we specialize in helping children, teenagers, and adults achieve straight, healthy, and beautiful smiles by providing orthodontic solutions tailored to each patient’s unique orthodontic needs and desires. Dr. McClain is an orthodontic specialist who has been setting the highest standards of excellence in orthodontics for nearly 40 years! To get started improving your smile, give our office a call at (731) 644-9311 or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you achieve the straight, healthy, and attractive smile you deserve!