Oral healthcare professionals include dentists and orthodontists. General dentists have received training in diagnosing and treating problems with your gums, teeth, tongue, and mouth. Although they undergo further training, orthodontists also receive this training to specialize in identifying and correcting jaw and tooth misalignments.

A general practitioner and a dentist are both specialists in their fields. On the other hand, a dedicated orthodontist is like any other medical specialist in that they have undertaken additional training and study to provide them with a deeper grasp of their subject.


All dentists receive a General Dental Degree. Similar to your family physician, a general dentist is crucial for maintaining good oral health. They offer a variety of services, such as dental cleanings and tooth repairs.

University-level orthodontics and clear aligner training are not offered to dentists. That is why the majority of dentists will direct patients in need of orthodontic care to a licensed orthodontic expert.

What does a dentist do?

These are the services that dentists offer:

  •       Fill cavities, extract teeth, read dental X-rays, and repair fractured teeth to encourage oral hygiene and good oral health
  •       Do Fillings and findings to treat gum conditions like gingivitis
  •       Prescribe medication and other treatments for oral health issues
  •       Install crowns or veneers and teeth whitening
  •       Check the growth of the children’s teeth and do oral surgery


Orthodontic specialists acquire a dental degree before completing a three-year specialization program. Orthodontists are the type of doctor who specializes in preserving teeth and jaw alignment. They can carry out a variety of different treatments, such as traditional braces, clear aligners, and retainers, and can assist you in deciding the best option for you.

What does an orthodontist do?

Orthodontists treat patients with crooked teeth, but they also aid with other problems. These include treating TMJ disorders, treating overbites and underbites, treating crossbites, treating gaps between teeth, and treating overcrowding of teeth (TMD). An orthodontist is required to correct any additional jaw issues.

 So what orthodontists do is:

  •       Monitor a child’s jawline and bite development.
  •       Identify and treat teeth and jaw malocclusion.
  •       A treatment strategy includes braces and retainers to conduct surgery as a specialist in straightening teeth.
  •       Installing braces.

Dentist schooling and certification

Dental professionals that specialize in orthodontics and general dentistry receive a lot of the same training.

In order to obtain a pre-dentistry or pre-medical degree, dentists often attend college before continuing to a graduate program in dentistry. For certification as certified doctors of teeth, dentists must finish a residency and get extensive training in their discipline, just like all other medical professionals. Certification requires passing a comprehensive exam. Before beginning their careers, dentists must complete extensive training, much like all other medical professionals.

Orthodontist education and training requirements

Pre-med or pre-dental majors are popular choices for orthodontics during their undergraduate education before they apply to dental school. To earn a specialist certification in orthodontic dentistry, orthodontists spend an additional two to three years in a residency program.

Consult an Orthodontist or a Dentist

A lot of people begin by seeing a general or cosmetic dentist, and if it becomes clear that straighter teeth would be beneficial, they are referred to an orthodontist. Your dentist could suggest that you consult an orthodontist if, for instance, your bite is a possible source of headaches or jaw issues.

You don’t need to wait for a referral if you expressly want to talk about problems with your bite and teeth alignment. You can directly consult an orthodontist for it.

A final word:

Both general dentists and orthodontists play a vital role in maintaining the health and aesthetics of your teeth, so patients should be aware that a general dentist who offers orthodontic treatment lacks the specialized university training, orthodontic knowledge, and experience of a certified orthodontist. Working with specialists helps dentists achieve the best results, just like your family doctor does when treating patients with a medical specialist.