Did you know that March 6 is National Dentist’s Day? Dentists—professionals who take care of dental health—have been around for thousands of years. In fact, humanity has recognized the need to care for teeth even since the time of ancient Egyptians! When you think about dentists, your general dentist likely comes to mind. But did you know that orthodontists are also dentists? Read on to learn why specialized dental care, like orthodontics, is so important!
Why does dentistry matter?
A trip to your general dentist helps keep your smile in tip-top shape. Seeing a dentist regularly allows patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums; spot issues, like oral cancer, early on; and prevent future problems, like decay, from arising. Importantly, dental hygiene feeds into all aspects of health—from boosting your immune system to improving brain function, and even reducing the risk of heart disease.
However, some patients face issues that require more specialized dental care than biannual appointments. Some dental issues, like misalignment, a bad bite, or a narrow airway, can lead to insecurity, pain, worn teeth, or poor oral function. This is where orthodontists come in!
Dentists vs. orthodontists
Orthodontists are a specialized subset of dentists. Both orthodontists and general dentists have a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) degree. These degrees are identical. However, while a general dentist’s training can end here, orthodontists go on to complete an additional two-to-three-year residency program for specialized education.
Like general dentists, orthodontists are concerned about oral health. However, orthodontists use appliances, like retainers, palatal expanders, braces, and aligners to align teeth, bring the face, jaw, lips, and teeth into harmony, correct misaligned bites, and influence facial growth. These treatments boost aesthetics while reducing the chances of developing cavities, relieving bruxism, improving oral function, and treating issues, like TMJ disorders.
For your best smile, you need both a general dentist and an orthodontist. While dentists help keep our teeth clean and healthy, orthodontists go a step beyond. By improving facial structure, tooth alignment, and a patient’s bite, orthodontists set up your smile for life.
Book your appointment today
If you are interested in learning more about orthodontics and how treatment could help you, contact our team today. From all of us here, we wish you a happy Dentist’s Day!