For those with stained teeth, whitening from a cosmetic dentist is more effective and available than ever. At-home teeth whitening treatments, including toothpastes, gels and strips can remove surface stains for some. However, for others, these over-the-counter products may be ineffective, or even painful. A dentist may recommend in-office whitening for those with certain needs.For…
Are Orthodontics Part of What General Dentists Do?
There are some similarities between orthodontists and general dentists. Both make taking care of patient’s teeth and dental wellbeing a priority. Both can be helpful in taking good care of oral health. Both are concerned with gum disease, decay and mouth pain. Both can make good suggestions as to how to best care for teeth.
The education received by both dentists and orthodontists are similar in that each requires an advanced course of study and a bachelor’s degree. An orthodontist may have to go on to participate in a residency program where practice and experience in orthodontics are gained. The bigger question may be how these two doctors differ from one another.
The difference between dentists and orthodontists
Although there may be some crossover in the care offered by both general dentists and orthodontists, the main difference is that dentists care for the health of the teeth and gums, repairing damage, performing cleanings, and discussing oral hygiene and potentially harmful foods or practices. Orthodontists, on the other hand, manage the function or bite a person has as well as complex cosmetic issues and jaw alignments. Perhaps this will help explain further:
Dentists practices and procedures
A dentist’s primary function is to help patients maintain a healthy mouth, including the teeth, gums and other oral tissues. Prevention is important in staving off many oral health issues, so a dentist may clean the teeth, even below the gum line, and prescribe a routine of hygiene that can help keep teeth cleaner and gums healthier. Custom whitening trays may also be created for an individual patient and instructions given for use.
General dentists can also treat gum disease and repair tooth damage that may occur due to lack of care or accidents. These procedures may include filling cavities in decayed teeth; placing crowns on cracked, broken or badly decayed teeth; and performing root canals. A dentist may also apply veneers to protect or improve the appearance of teeth. Pulling wisdom teeth or other problematic teeth is also one of the responsibilities of a dentist. Additionally, a referral may be given, directing a patient to an orthodontist for correction of misalignments and malocclusions.
Orthodontists practices and procedures
Orthodontists are also an important part of a patient’s oral health. There are several reasons why an orthodontist may be necessary. An overbite, underbite, excessive space between the teeth or crooked teeth can all be benefited by the services of an orthodontist.
Braces are not the only orthodontic service offered. Custom-fitted alignment trays may alternatively be used. Painful problems stemming from misaligned jaws, such as TMD (temporomandibular disorders like TMJ), may often require the use of carefully fitted headgear or other measures that an orthodontist can offer.
There are many bodily health problems that can be caused by decay, tartar and bacteria, including gingivitis, acid reflux, strokes and heart problems, and complications of pregnancy or of diabetes. Make sure to visit one of the general dentists in your area regularly to help maintain better all-over health.
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