Both dentists and orthodontists help to maintain their patients’ oral health.

Dentists and orthodontists are qualified to diagnose and treat issues related to oral health. General dentists are fully trained to address a range of conditions that affect the gums, teeth, tongue and mouth, while orthodontists go on to receive additional training. This additional training allows them to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of issues related to the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Read on to find out more about the difference between your general dentist and your orthodontist, and when to see either practitioner…

What is a dentist?

Dentists are certified to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the teeth, tongue, gums and mouth. They can provide a wide range of services and treatments, including dental x-rays, fillings for cavities, tooth extractions, gum disease treatments and professional teeth cleaning. Your dentist will be able to let you know how you can improve your oral health and hygiene, and may prescribe you medications when appropriate. Your dentist may also provide you with cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening and dental veneers. In some cases, general dentists perform oral surgery such as dental implant surgery and wisdom tooth removal.

What is an orthodontist?

Orthodontists also work in the field of oral health, but unlike general dentists, they specialise in the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Your orthodontist is qualified to diagnose a wide range of conditions that affect the teeth, gums and mouth but spends most of their time resolving bite and misalignment problems. Orthodontists diagnose and treat malocclusions; provide orthodontic appliances like braces and clear aligners; provide early orthodontic assessments and treatment; and perform certain surgical procedures to straighten the teeth.

Which practitioner should you see?

Most dental issues can be addressed by your general dentist. If you experience a toothache or notice the early signs of gum disease, for example, you are likely to benefit from a visit to your dentist. Issues like oral infections, cracked teeth and oral inflammation can also be treated by your dentist. It is a good idea to see your general dentist for regular check-ups and cleans — this will go a long way in maintaining your oral health and ensuring that any issues are identified and resolved at an early stage.

Your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist if they identify an issue such as crooked or crowded teeth. You may also choose to see an orthodontist if you are unhappy with the alignment of your teeth, or if you notice a possible orthodontic issue in your child. It is advisable that all children have an orthodontic assessment performed by the age of seven years old to determine whether or not they require treatment.

How can we help?

At South Yarra Orthodontics, we specialise in orthodontic treatments and offer a range of services to patients of all ages. We use the most up-to-date orthodontic techniques and modern technology to ensure that we provide top-quality care and help our patients achieve excellent results. Our team includes qualified and experienced orthodontists, as well as oral health therapists and dental assistants. If you would like to find out more about our practice, please have a look here.

The services we provide include early orthodontic treatment for children, surgical orthodontic treatment, metal and ceramic braces, and lingual braces. We also make use of an intra-oral scanner to capture the shape of our patient’s teeth without the need for dental impressions.

If you would like to find out more about the range of advanced orthodontic services that we offer at South Yarra Orthodontics, please have a look here.

If you would like to come in and see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange an appointment. We look forward to transforming your smile and helping to improve and maintain your overall oral health in the long-term.