When To See A Dentist Vs. An Orthodontist

Most of you know what a dentist does and why it is important to set an appointment at least twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings, but do you know why it is important to have an appointment with an orthodontist? What are the main differences between these two dental professionals and what treatments do they provide? Understanding this will help you make an appointment with the proper person to treat your dental needs.

What Do Dentists Do?

First of all, we would like to explain what a dentist is, what their responsibilities are and why is it important to promote good dental hygiene. Your oral health is very important as it will affect all parts of the body if neglected. A professional dentist will also diagnose and treat problems of the gums, teeth, and mouth. 

At Dr. Roland Zhuka’s our staff uses the latest technology and equipment including diagnostic ones like X-rays, lasers, drills, and other tools needed to perform the best dental procedures. We are also careful when it comes to safety and hygiene. Protective gear, including masks, gloves, and safety glasses, will be used to stop the transmission of diseases and germs. Some of the common duties of dentists will include:

  • Giving proper advice on how to take care of and clean your teeth. 
  • Treat cavities by filling them.
  • Explaining the results of the X-rays and other diagnostic examinations.
  • Utilizing anesthesia in cases where it is needed.
  • Repairing damaged teeth or replacing them. 
  • Filling missing spaces from the teeth.
  • Checking if there is any issue with the teeth or jawbone. 

Although dentistry is a teamwork that involves different approaches, however, the dentist will be the leader since it provides most treatments. In certain cases, they will need to work closely with hygienists, implantologists, lab technicians, or periodontists. Together these specialists make sure that you get the best dental care. 

Reasons To See A Dentist

Although the main reason why you should visit the dentist is to have a dental checkup every six months there are several others that we will mention above:

Preventive Care

Initially, your dentist will look for any indications of tooth decay, gum disease, or mouth cancer. Regularly checking on these aspects can help avert later, more significant issues. In addition, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth to get rid of tartar and plaque, which can lead to gum disease and tooth damage. Your hygienist and dentist may offer you advice on how to properly take care of your teeth at home. 

Pain Or Discomfort

Seeking dental care is necessary if you have pain or discomfort in your mouth, jaws, gums, or teeth. Any discomfort or swelling in the face, lips, or neck may indicate a dental issue. Similarly, if your gums are bleeding or you’re having difficulty eating or swallowing, you must schedule a dental examination to determine what the problem is. 

Maintenance And Health

If you have undergone dental surgery or procedures like dental implants, tooth extraction, etc, it is important to have additional checkups with the dentist to make sure everything is going as it should. Also if you smoke, or have any medical issues like diabetes, you should schedule additional appointments, so everything can be controlled and further issues avoided.

How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

Regular dental visits should be scheduled with the help of the dentist, however ideally it is recommended you visit the clinic at least twice a year. Keep in mind to have a regular routine and try to maintain optimal oral health by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. However, if you are more prone to periodontal issues or cavities, it will be recommended that the visits be more frequent.  

What Does An Orthodontist Do?

Having your mouth examined by an orthodontist will always be a good idea, especially for children once they develop their permanent teeth. During these visits, they will examine misalignment of the teeth and problems with the jaws like teeth not fitting together properly. Schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists here at Dr. Roland Zhuka’s clinic if you are experiencing any of the following problems:

  • If you are having pain and difficulties while biting and chewing your food.
  • Snoring.
  • Problems while breathing through the mouth. 
  • Problems while speaking
  • The loss of baby teeth due to trauma or cavities.
  • Sucking the thumb during childhood.
  • Teeth not aligning properly when you bite. 
  • Crowded, crooked, or uneven teeth.
  • If you have an underbite or overbite.
  • It can align the jaws and teeth if they are not in proportion with the rest of the face.

Usually, the treatments that are involved in orthodontics will take about 18 months since it is not easy for the jaw to move. However, this process will be faster for children since their jaws are more fragile and can reposition faster. 

The most common treatments to address these dental issues include traditional braces, retainers, or clear aligners. The choice between them will be decided by the orthodontist and your needs and wishes. 

What Should I Expect During An Appointment With My Orthodontist?

During your first orthodontic consultation, the orthodontist will listen to your concerns and answer any questions you have. They will examine your teeth to determine how well they align and bite, as well as how well your jaws and teeth work together. After that, they will go over their results with you or your child’s situation-specific treatment choices. After that, they will discuss with you about the cost and what results are expected.  

Reasons To See An Orthodontist

The most common reason patients visit an orthodontist is for malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth and jaw. usually, these issues will result from size asymmetries between the lower and upper jaws or between the jaw and teeth, and they will be present since childhood. Overcrowding of teeth, an unnatural jaw shape, or uneven bite patterns will be the most common results of malocclusion. in these cases, orthodontists will provide several treatments including: 

Braces Or Dental Appliances

Your orthodontist attaches square bonds made of metal, ceramic, or plastic to your teeth and they will be forced to align by a system of wires or springs. if you are worried by the look of braces you may choose clear braces or aligners. However, this will only be possible if the problem is not severe. on the other hand In order to align their teeth with external pressure, some patients will need to keep a headgear. After the treatment is done retainers will be utilized in order to keep the teeth in place. They will be custom-made to fit your newly repositioned teeth and you should keep them on every night.   

Orthognathic surgery

Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as orthodontic surgery, may be necessary to extend or shorten your jaw if you have severe underbite or overbite issues. To support your jawbone, orthodontists may use wires, surgical screws, or plates. Jaw surgery is only recommended if you have finished developing and other orthodontic procedures cannot provide any results.

What Are The Benefits Of Visiting An Orthodontist?

Unlike dentists, orthodontists have the necessary training and expertise to manage and avoid problems arising from the misalignment of the jaw and teeth. This solves problems that a lot of people are facing these days and goes above and beyond what is taught in a dentistry school. 

There are several advantages to orthodontic treatment for both the functional and aesthetic aspects of oral healthcare, depending on your specific problem or circumstance. The best course of action for ensuring that your teeth are properly aligned and straightened is to choose a fully qualified and experienced orthodontist. As a result, spending money on orthodontic treatment from one of Albanian’s top orthodontists will benefit you in a number of ways, such as:

  • You will have a bright radiant smile that will greatly improve your self-confidence.
  • If your teeth are straightened and properly aligned, the risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease will be reduced. 
  • The risk of injuries from protruding teeth will be minimized. 
  • Enhanced bite with balanced pressure applied to both jaws.
  • Getting the teeth ready for future treatment and restorative care.

What Is The Difference Between A Dentist And An Orthodontist?

Both orthodontists and dentists will provide treatments that will help patients improve their oral health, however, they specialize in different fields. The primary distinction is the specific training required to become an orthodontist, which focuses on addressing jaw and tooth misalignment issues. So basically an orthodontist is a regular dentist who pursues further education to concentrate on orthodontic treatment. At Dr. Roland Zhukas we offer every service and dental professionals who are the best at providing them. 

Orthodontist Vs. Dentist Training

Dental school lasts four years for both dentists and orthodontists. In addition to cleaning teeth and treating cavities brought on by tooth decay, dentists also handle x-rays and examinations of teeth to determine their structural integrity and health. Their approach is comparable to that of your primary care physician, with the exception that they concentrate on your oral health as a whole. A dentist is trained to detect a wide range of oral health conditions, but it doesn’t mean that they have the ability to treat them all. 

However, the education of an orthodontist differs from that of a dentist. Most dentists will refer their patients to specialists when an oral health issue is beyond the limit of their training and skill, much as your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist when a more complicated health issue is discovered, in this case, misalignment issues. They will detect the issue, but they will refer you to an orthodontist since they will not be able to provide the right treatment for you on their own due to their training.

Should You See An Orthodontist Or Dentist?

A visit to the dentist can take care of the majority of common tooth problems. Your dentist can diagnose and treat tooth discomfort, tooth decay, tooth repair, and tooth extraction. They can also treat infections in the mouth, gum disease, and inflammation. However, in certain cases, a dentist could occasionally recommend you to an orthodontist if they notice any issues with the alignment of your teeth or jaw malocclusion.

Additionally, visits with an orthodontist are highly advised for every kid before the age of seven to determine whether braces are necessary. When it comes to these types of treatments the earlier you start the better. This is also true if you are an adult, if you believe that your teeth need to be straightened or that your jawline is crooked, you should consider visiting an orthodontist instead of a dentist. After the examination, they will decide what the right treatment for you will be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is An Orthodontist The Same Thing As A Dentist?

Even though orthodontists and dentists are both trained to treat issues related to your oral health they specialize in different fields. While dentists will treat issues related to nerves, and gums, etc, orthodontists will mainly focus on issues related to the misalignment of the teeth, the bite, the misplacement of the jaw. This is the main difference between these two specialist. Knowing this it will be easier for you to decide on which specialist to choose based on your needs. 

Can An Orthodontist Do Fillings?

The main role of an orthodontist is to provide patients with the right treatments to fix the alignment of their teeth and problems with the jaw. However since they have the basic knowledge and skills of dentistry they will be able to conduct X-rays, oral exams, extract teeth, perform oral surgery, and sometimes even fill cavities. This will all depend on their specialty, so before choosing your dental specialist, ask them what they are trained for. 

Can An Orthodontist Remove Teeth?

Sometimes overcrowded teeth will need to be extracted in order for the orthodontic treatment to be successful. In some cases, the dentist will not be able to perform this on their own and they will refer you to a dentist, and sometimes they will perform it themself. 

Do Orthodontists Clean Teeth?

Not many orthodontists provide cleanings. They may assist in cleaning your teeth if something gets stuck in your braces, as well as clean your teeth in preparation for molds and braces. General oral health, however, is the responsibility of dentists and their hygienists, not the orthodontists. 

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