Dentist or Orthodontist? What’s the Difference?

The difference between an orthodontist and a dentist may be completely confusing to some people. Something that many people don’t know is that all orthodontists are trained dentists, but not all dentists are not orthodontists. They are both certified oral health care professionals, both treat and maintain the health of your teeth and gums, and both have the education to be called doctors. However, there are more differences than similarities. Dr. Ashley Reynolds of Crescent Orthodontics near Milford, MI has some tips to help patients to distinguish between a dentist and an orthodontist.

What’s the difference?

All orthodontists require additonal years of training in their specialty (orthodontics) beyond their dental school training. A similar example would be if a medical doctor elects to take special training to become a surgeon. Dentist typically refer their patients with a dental malocclusion, to an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment.

What services do they provide?

Dentists typically treat issues like:

Gum Disease

Tooth Decay

Root Canals




Tooth Whitening

An orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in facial and dental growth and development in addition to the alignment of your teeth, and their services typically are employed to correct:



Crowded teeth

Misaligned teeth

Traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and other corrective treatments are methods an orthodontist might use to treat these issues.

What Kind of Care Do You Need?

Orthodontists are trained specifically to correct crooked teeth, underbites and overbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowded teeth, and the effective treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. While your dentist may be legally qualified provide orthodontic care, putting your smile in the hands of an orthodontic specialist insures the highest level of specialized training and care.

Any Questions?

Dr. Ashley Reynolds and the team at Crescent Orthodontics can help answer any questions you might have about orthodontics near Milford, MI. If you still have questions about the differences between dentistry and orthodontics, call and schedule your complimentary consultation today at 248.437.3377!

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