Dentist vs. Orthodontist – How Can They Help You?

Although both are dental health professionals, a dentist and an orthodontist don’t offer the same services. Different situations might require support from an orthodontist (for example fixing tooth alignment) or from a dentist (for example, dealing with cavities). So, how do you know who to call and when?

What does a dentist do?

Dentists are often the first port of call for anyone who is either suffering from dental issues or looking to take regular care of their teeth. Your dentist will monitor, diagnose, treat and manage your oral healthcare overall. This includes:

  • Dental health check ups, cleaning and X-rays
  • Restorative dentistry, such as crowns, bridges and veneers
  • Solving urgent problems, such as fillings or root canal
  • Ongoing maintenance, for example gum care
  • Aesthetic finishes, e.g. tooth whitening

What can a dentist do for you?

Everyone needs a dentist to support the care of teeth and deal with any problems that might arise. A dentist can help with your oral care in many ways:

  • Giving you the information and tools to establish a positive oral care routine that could help prevent problems later on
  • Providing personalised management and early handling of problems, such as gingivitis or cavities
  • Making sure that you get timely treatment if you have an accident and damage your teeth or you’re suffering from toothache

What does an orthodontist do?

Orthodontics is a field of dentistry and every orthodontist will already have a dental qualification. The difference is that an orthodontist then goes on to specialise in teeth, jaw and facial structure. You might need to go to an orthodontist if you have teeth that need straightening or you’ve had teeth removed because of an issue like overcrowding in your mouth, for example. Most orthodontists offer the same kinds of treatments and these include:

  • Braces
  • Wires
  • Retainers

What can an orthodontist do for you?

Orthodontists work on realigning your teeth and ensuring good jaw and facial structure without the use of surgical procedures. They specialise in correcting issues that have arisen with the alignment of teeth and can help your oral health in a number of ways, including:

  • Correcting an overbite
  • Closing up gaps in your teeth
  • Straightening out teeth that are overcrowded
  • Retraining mouth muscles to correct the impact on facial structure of problems with tooth alignment or loss
  • Preventatively diagnosing “malocclusions,” or bad bites, so that they can be treated now instead of causing issues in the future

Whether you need a dentist or an orthodontist at Smile Pad you’re always in good hands.


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We are pleased to inform all patients seeking dental treatment that our practices are, and will remain open to cater to all your dental needs and maintain your oral health. We are available should you need advice, urgent care, or simply wish to attend for any other dental treatment. Our practices operate under the strictest government guidance and coronavirus protocols. Your safety and the safety of your family remains our priority. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
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