What is an orthodontist?

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has undergone specialist postgraduate training in the field of orthodontics. To achieve this qualification, an orthodontist will have a dental degree, several years of experience working in the dental industry, and then a postgraduate degree in orthodontics, which takes two to three years of further study. 

The practice of orthodontics

If you’re wondering what it is exactly that an orthodontist does, read on. An orthodontist has studied the overall facial profile of a patient and is focused on ensuring the correct alignment of a patient’s teeth and jaws. This goes beyond simply looking at the health of your teeth, but rather how they sit in relation to your jaws and contours of your face. Misalignment of your jaws, also known as malocclusions or bad bites, can have an impact on your overall health, not just your teeth. 

Orthodontists vs dentists

So what’s the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist? The table below helps to explain the answer to that commonly asked question. Just remember, both an orthodontist and a dentist have a part to play in good oral health and will work together to ensure you get the results you need and deserve.

Orthodontist Dentist
Qualifications & Memberships
Bachelor of Dental Surgery (5 years)
Master of Orthodontics (MOrth) (3 years)
General Dental Council Registered Specialist in Orthodontics
Membership of professional orthodontic bodies, eg. Australian Society of Orthodontists
Treatments & Services
General 6-month check up
Fillings & extractions
Cleaning & polishing
Advises on overall oral health of teeth and gums
Fitting of orthodontic appliances, such as braces & Invisalign aligners Some general dentists may fit braces and Invisalign but they are not specialists in orthodontics
Experience & training
Is specifically trained in the movement of teeth and bite issues
Recommends and treats patients after assessing overall facial profile
Uses the latest in orthodontic technology for the benefit of patients
Attends regular training on developments in the orthodontic industry
Is a member of The Invisible Orthodontist (TIO) Network Not all orthodontists are members of TIO but those who are demonstrate further commitment to promoting invisible orthodontic treatment.

Source: The Invisible Orthodontist


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