As a patient, you might think that your dentist’s office is a one stop shop for everything related to teeth. While dentists are skilled in treating problems that affect your teeth and gums, they are not the same as orthodontists. Much like you wouldn’t visit your family doctor if you had heart related issues, you wouldn’t want to visit your dentist with issues related to the spacing and crowding of your teeth. That’s something best reserved for an Orthodontist. In this post, we’ll go over the differences between the two professions and why it’s important to visit your Frisco, Allen and McKinney Orthodontists for a free consultation.

So What’s the Difference?

Let’s start with similarities – both dentists and orthodontists work to improve your overall oral health. While dentistry covers a broad spectrum of oral issues, orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and correcting bite issues.

An orthodontist will spend at minimum, 11 years in post-secondary education, at least three more years than general dentists. Orthodontists first attend dental school, followed by three years in the Masters of Orthodontics program. Getting into the orthodontics program is reserved for the top 5% of their class. Upon graduation, an orthodontist has complete understanding of your mouth, teeth and jaws and all issues that may happen in this part of the body including:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Cross or open bites
  • TMJ-pain
  • Narrow arches
  • Excessive spacing
  • Breathing issues stemming from narrow airways and dental arches
  • And many more!

Visiting an Orthodontist is Important for Your Health

Children should first visit an Orthodontist by age 7 as most issues can be addressed quickly during the younger years. If left untreated, these issues might become more costly and complicated as your child enters their teen years. Meanwhile, adults too, can benefit from orthodontic treatment, as it’s never late for anyone to enjoy a great, winning smile.

In the end, an orthodontist is simply more specialized and experienced than a dentist when it comes to diagnosing and treating both visible and invisible oral problems and irregularities. In addition, orthodontists—like the teams in Frisco, Allen and McKinney are select professionals that you should see for a consultation. You never need a referral from a dentist to visit an orthodontist for a no obligation consultation, and if your dentist is offering orthodontic treatment to you or your child, you have every right to ask for a second opinion from an orthodontist.