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The difference between an orthodontist and a dentist

While dentists and orthodontists both have a focus on oral care and teeth, the expertise they bring to the table and the specialties they offer are vastly different.

Meanwhile, they’re not the only two types of professionals working in the field of oral care. The field of dentistry is filled with specialists bringing unique skills and specific insights.

Here’s a quick overview of the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist, and the skills each delivers when it comes to achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile.

A dentist…

In simple terms a dentist focuses on oral health and preventative care by looking at the condition of teeth, gums, and oral tissue. Their role involves preventative maintenance like cleaning and polishing teeth, along with restorative work like fillings and crowns.

General dentistry is classed as a primary healthcare profession, which means a high level of skill, involving five years of study, must be attained before any dentist qualifies to enter practice. From there, a dentist can go on to specialize in fields like oral surgery, periodontics and orthodontics.

An orthodontist…

An orthodontist specialises in aligning teeth and the jaws. From teeth that are crooked to a bite that doesn’t meet correctly, they work to create the perfect smile for both aesthetic and functional reasons.

The ultimate outcome of orthodontics is an attractive smile that also improves oral health, ensuring teeth don’t wear unnecessarily, food can be chewed correctly, and all teeth can be reached readily for cleaning.

In addition to five years of studying general dentistry and two years clinical experience working as a dentist, an orthodontist undertakes a further three years study to specialise in this field.

Your smile is too important to leave to chance. It’s imperative that you choose a specialist orthodontist when it comes to treating your or your children’s teeth – you deserve to be treated by the most highly qualified doctor to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts.

A board-certified specialist orthodontist has undergone the above training plus had their treatment results assessed by an independent and anonymous specialist panel to certify their standard of care. A board-certified specialist orthodontist is the most highly qualified doctor to look after you.

About Norwest

Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping patients achieve a great smile, no matter their age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.

The Norwest team is led by Dr Shimanto Purkayastha – the only Australian Orthodontic Board-Certified specialist orthodontist in the Norwest area.

Dr Shimanto Purkayastha is a member of the Australian Dental Association, the Australian Society of Orthodontists, the World Federation of Orthodontists, and the American Association of Orthodontists.

He also hosts lecture and education events for local doctors and dentists to share the latest advancements and techniques in orthodontics.

You can learn more about our services, or contact us here to make an appointment here.

The difference between an orthodontist and a dentist

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