Major issue or minor issue, it doesn't matter. Your oral health should definitely not be taken for granted. It is also important to decide which of the two, a dentist or an orthodontist is preferable for your problem and the goals you want out of the treatment.
In order to help you decide which one is suitable, you need to firstly understand what they actually do and what their qualifications are.
What does a Dentist do?
Almost all of us have visited a dentist at least one point in our lives. Although, it is essential to visit the dentist for regular check-ups, cleaning and x-rays of our teeth to maintain a good overall oral health.
Dentists hold a degree in dentistry, which is a broad field focusing on the health and well-being of teeth, mouth and gums. A large variety of oral health problems such as cavities, gum diseases like gingivitis, irregular teeth, broken or decayed tooth etc. are treated by dentists. For the most part, you should visit a dentist at least twice a year to maintain a good oral and dental health. You should get your teeth cleaned professionally at the dental clinic and also get x-rays to ensure the well-being of your teeth and jaws and also, to detect potential issues.
What does an Orthodontist do?
An orthodontist is a specialised professional who is an expert in correcting crooked teeth, overbites, underbites and also, irregular teeth.
An orthodontist, along with a dental degree, also has an additional two-year training and internship experience in orthodontics. This is where an orthodontist has an edge over a dentist. But generally, a dentist is also licensed to perform orthodontic procedures and who does a better job at it depends on the experience and on how well they can evaluate a person's teeth and how skilled their hands are.
A dentist may, however, choose to refer their patient to an orthodontist based on the patient's needs if they are not as confident or skilled at the job of an orthodontist. Some of the common orthodontic issues that include, irregular teeth and crooked teeth are to be fixed not just for superficial purposes but they may also cause problems such as bone destruction, speech impediments and lockjaw.
How to choose?
We have seen that all dentists cannot perform orthodontal procedures but all orthodontists can perform dental procedures.
The dentist is great for the following oral health issues.
1. General health and well-being of your teeth and gums including general cleaning of your teeth.
2. If you have tooth decay, broken teeth and cavity
3. Teeth and gum related diseases such as periodontal disease or gingivitis.
4. Dentists will also evaluate your oral health and give you specific advice regarding hygiene
Orthodontists, on the other hand, can provide you with the following services.
1. Overcrowded, misaligned or irregular teeth can be fixed by an orthodontist as they specialise in braces.
2. When you have teeth overbites or underbites.
3. For teeth whitening, prosthetics/ implants, crowns etc.
4. When your teeth are affecting your ability to chew and other normal functions such as speak.
An orthodontist specialises in evaluating the alignment and the proper course of action required to fix the issue. This field of dentistry specialises in the prosthetic teeth usage, whitening, braces, crowns etc. An orthodontist is helping millions of people gain their confidence and self-esteem back by correcting their teeth and furthermore enhancing their look by enhancing their smile.