Dentist or Orthodontist? What’s the Difference?

To some, the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is indistinguishable. However, something that many don’t know is that all orthodontists can be dentists, but not all dentists can be orthodontists! They’re both considered doctors who work with teeth and gums, and specialize in oral care. So in this respect, they’re pretty comparable. However, there are more differences than similarities. Today, we have Dr. Bob Bryan of Bob Bryan Orthodontics to help you distinguish the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist near Hamburg, PA.

What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Surprisingly, there are actually more differences than similarities between an orthodontist and a dentist. All of us orthodontists require extra schooling and more experience within the dental field. A parallel situation would be to look at a doctor versus a surgeon; all surgeons can be doctors, but not all doctors are surgeons. The doctor must have decided to take special training to become a surgeon in a particular field. So if a dentist has determined their patient has a malocclusion, he/she will have to refer them to us orthodontists for treatment.

What do they provide?

Dentists typically deal with:

  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Tooth Whitening
  • Root Canals

An orthodontist works to correct:

  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Crowded teeth
  • Misaligned teeth

Orthodontists work to correct these problems through several treatment plans, the most common orthodontic treatment options being both braces and Invisalign.

What You Need vs. What You Don’t

While a dentist can be qualified to offer orthodontic care in addition to extractions, TMJ treatments, and fillings, putting your smile in the hands of an orthodontist can better balance the procedures you need. Orthodontists help with crooked teeth, but they help patients with other matters as well. These include underbites and overbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders. Other problems with the jaw should also be taken care of by an orthodontist.

Any Questions?

If you’re still curious about the differences between dentistry and orthodontics, then feel free to call Dr. Bob Bryan and his team at Bob Bryan Orthodontics. They can assist in answering any questions that you might have about orthodontics near Hamburg, PA. So what are you waiting for?


Dr. Bob Bryan and the team at Dr. Bob Bryan Orthodontics are experts in braces. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Hamburg, PA, Auburn, PA, Berks County, PA, Shoemakersville, PA, Port Clinton, PA, Allentown, PA, Lehigh County, PA, Emmaus, PA, Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh Valley, PA or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Bryan contact Dr. Bob Bryan  at: (610) 562-5185

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