Battle Royale: Dentist vs. Orthodontist

Most people often mistake dentists for orthodontists and sometimes, it’s the other way around. And, while it’s true that both professionals work in the same field, their specialization and expertise set them widely apart from each other. But what’s the difference, and how do you choose which is best for you?

Both professionals have very similar educational backgrounds. Both have a bachelor’s degree, attended dental school and complete a four-year doctoral program. To become an orthodontist, a dentist must serve a two or three-year residency, then board-certified. Dentists add DDS (doctor of dental surgery) or DMD (doctor of dental medicine) to their names, but orthodontists add an additional MS, which stands for master of science.

So, who do you need?

For minor issues, a dentist will be more than enough. Dentists can diagnose, treat and manage your overall oral health by performing dental checkups, cleanings, x-rays and other services. Dentists may also offer orthodontic services if they completed additional coursework, otherwise, they will refer you to another Castro Valley specialist.

Now, should your teeth need realignment, the dentist will refer you to an orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in the use of non-surgical procedures to correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws. They can diagnose, prevent and treat various problems, such as overbites, underbites, gaps and overcrowded teeth.

If you feel like there’s something wrong with your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist so that it can be taken care of immediately – by them, or by a recommended orthodontist.


Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. 

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

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