What are the Differences Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Practicing dental hygiene is essential, but do you know when to see a dentist versus when to see an orthodontist? Here are the main differences between a dentist and an orthodontist.


1. Orthodontists Specialize in Aligning Your Teeth and Jaw

If you are interested in straightening your teeth through braces or Invisalign, you will need to see an orthodontist. Our highly trained doctors, Dr. Peluso, and Dr. Savage are pleased to offer our patients at Eastern Virginia Orthodontics the aesthetic, and healthy, smile they’ve always dreamed of.


2. Dentists Treat Conditions and Diseases Affecting Teeth and Gums

Dental appointments typically consist of teeth cleanings and X-rays. These appointments are necessary to maintain a healthy mouth, prevent cavities, and monitor any oral health issues that may occur, such as gum disease. People should visit the dentist regularly throughout all stages of their life to ensure optimum oral health and monitor any potential issues that may arise.


3. Orthodontists Require an Additional Two to Three Years of Schooling

Both dentists and orthodontists are highly trained through their bachelor’s degree, which is followed by a four-year doctoral program. However, those who want to become an orthodontist, have to apply for and be accepted into an orthodontic residency, which is exceptionally competitive. This two-to-three-year program will also include orthodontic schooling at a university accredited by the American Dental Association.


4. The Frequency of Visits is Different

We recommend that a child visits the dentist for the first time by the age of one, or within six months of their first tooth. Dentists will ensure oral health and educate parents about how to practice oral hygiene with their young ones. From then on, you should see your orthodontist twice a year. On the other hand, we recommend children wait until their permanent teeth start coming in to see an orthodontist, which is generally around the age of six or seven. If you end up going through orthodontic treatment, you will need to visit your orthodontist every four to eight weeks.

Visit Us Today!

If you are looking for top tier orthodontic treatment in Eastern Virginia, we’re here to help. With three offices in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach, your convenience is our priority. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call and make your first step toward that confidence-boosting grin.