Orthodontists vs Dentists

What is the difference between orthodontists and dentists?

Have you ever wondered why it is recommended to see an orthodontic specialist, like Dr. Hanis or Dr. Proft, for braces instead of your general dentist? Do you know what the differences between the two professions are? Orthodontists and dentists both work in the field of oral care where the primary concern is your teeth. However, each doctor has a different focus and areas of concern.

An orthodontist receives extra schooling in how your facial structure should be correctly aligned. An orthodontist continues their education past dental school by at least two years to be able to be a specialist in this area. In general, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Both, Dr. Hanis and Dr. Proft have gone another step further with receiving their Board Certification with the American Board of Orthodontics, which is a distinction that only 1 in 3 orthodontists receive. This certification requires an orthodontist to pass a rigorous exam process that encompasses all aspects of the orthodontic specialty.

A dentist is more geared toward the overall health of your teeth and not so much on how they are aligned. A dentist can be trained in many different cases, but primarily performs work that promotes oral health and disease prevention. Some dentists are licensed to do orthodontic treatment, but may not have the extra schooling that an orthodontic specialist has.

Dr. Hanis & Dr. Proft highly suggest that you continue to see your dentist every six months even when you are being treated by an orthodontist because it is important that you receive a thorough cleaning and cavity check. Your dentist or dental hygienist can clean your teeth around your braces or appliances and it is important that you are brushing and flossing every day. Ask the Hanis and Proft Orthodontics team if you need a suggestion for a dentist in our area!

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