A perfect smile is the epitome of good health and it’s no doubt true that oral health plays an important part in the well-being of the tooth. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between orthodontist vs dentist both play a significant role in maintaining your teeth. 

One of your most valuable assets should be your smile. Teeth that are crooked or misaligned are difficult to clean and maintain. If your tooth condition is not treated, it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss. Teeth straightening is now one of the many services provided by many dentists. While a general dentist may be able to treat some types of tooth misalignment, it is often wise to seek the advice of a trained orthodontist.

To understand the key difference between them both, let’s discuss dentist vs orthodontist one by one. 


Dentists are doctors who care for our oral health and hygiene. They perform routine checkups and cleanings while looking for signs of cavities and gum disease. Many dentists also perform surgical procedures like tooth extractions and root canals. People always remain confused to differentiate between orthodontist vs dentist.


Orthodontists, on the other hand, is a derivative of the Greek word orthos, which means “straight.” This form of the dental profession is associated with keeping or straightening teeth. Over or underbites, misaligned jaws, tooth irregularity, and the close relationship between jaw shape and position and tooth alignment are all examples of this. The placement of braces on the teeth of growing children to correct their alignment is one of the most common works of an orthodontist.

When it comes to the education of dentists and orthodontists, they both receive somehow the same education. The major fact in orthodontist vs dentist is that an orthodontist requires some educational certification as an addon before they enter the practice. 

On the other side, dentists enroll in pre-dentistry colleges before they graduate from the school of dentistry. Holistically when comes to the point that is an orthodontist a doctor? 

Dentists have specialization in oral well-being and maintaining health such as taking care of your teeth, hums, and nerves present in your mouth and jaws. Contrary to this, Orthodontist is a specialization within the field of dentistry that is associated with the correction of your bite, your teeth alignment and them meeting together. 

It is important to understand that all orthodontist comes under the category of a qualified dentist however, not all dentists qualify as orthodontists.

Key similarity orthodontist vs dentist

Key similarity: orthodontist vs dentist

The key resemblance between the dentist and the orthodontist is that both work in the dental office. And If you have ever wondered if that is an orthodontist or a doctor, then the answer is Yes. Both of them are considered doctors and are responsible for maintaining the health of your teeth. 

A dentist and an orthodontist also resemble this aspect in that they both focus on maintaining oral care. An orthodontist can work in a dental care office and provide the same consultation as a dentist. So in this respect, they are quite similar. Many people find themselves confused in deciding dentist vs orthodontist for braces.

Whom should you visit and when?

To resolve the ‘orthodontist vs dentist which is better’ situation, let us understand the area of specialization for both the Orthodontist and the dentist. 

Dentists typically promote good oral hygiene and offer services such as: 

Orthodontists are specialized in tooth alignment and offer services such as: 

  • Teeth that are misaligned 
  • Teeth crowding 
  • Overbite 
  • Underbite

By understanding the specialization for each of them, it is easy to assimilate whom to visit orthodontist vs dentist for braces? Then you know exactly whom to visit. 


A smile is your valuable asset which should be cherished and taken care of all the time. Teeth that are crooked or misaligned are difficult to clean and maintain. If your tooth condition is not treated, it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss. So when it comes to orthodontist vs dentist a general dentist may be able to treat some types of tooth misalignment, but it is often wise to seek the advice of a trained orthodontist. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Both the medical doctors earn substantial salaries by offering their services. However, among both, orthodontists earn more than a dentist. Therefore, a career path can be chosen upon salary expectations.
There is more difference between the dentist and orthodontist. For example, an orthodontist has to go through additional school to attain a dental specialty. It is as same as a doctor who wants to be a surgeon.
    Another difference is that an orthodontist helps his patients with issues such as alignment of teeth, improving bites, and fitting them for braces and other devices. If you want to get your teeth misalignment treated, you need to visit a dentist for braces.
    It can be stretched to 10 years for becoming an orthodontist. If you take a look at the schooling breakdown, then completion of the degree will take four years, four years will be dedicated to the dental school, and an additional two years in a residency program will make up this time. If one is looking forward to becoming an orthodontist then keenness and commitment are the keys.
    A bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college is required to become an orthodontist. It is extremely beneficial if your undergraduate major is related to dentistry in some way: biology, chemistry, mathematics, and anatomy are examples of useful majors. Orthodontist vs dentist both study medicine and science related to oral care.
      Then this person must attend dental school for three to four years. Dental school will include both classroom instruction (textbooks, exams, and lectures) and hands-on training. To become a certified dentist, the student must pass a medical board exam at the end of dental school. Then he or she must apply to an orthodontics program that has been approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
        If accepted, he or she will return to school and do hands-on work, often in the form of part-time work, volunteer positions, or internships, to become a full-fledged orthodontist.
        An orthodontist can help with crooked teeth and other teeth-related issues as well. Upon diagnosis, they can recommend surgeries as well. They can further identify overbites, crossbites, spaces among teeth, and treatment of temporomandibular disorders.
          They can even diagnose and treat jaw-related issues.
          The process of the removal of calculus is also known as debridement. A dentist removes the calculus with the help of ultrasonic devices or a hand-held scaling tool.
            This process utilizes high-frequency vibrations from the ultrasonic instrument with water to remove this concern. So when comes to dentist vs orthodontist for calculus bridge, one should visit a dentist.
            Try locating an orthodontist near you with Google Maps or Search Engine. If an orthodontist a dentist, you need to have clarity in mind before visiting the one.