Your teeth are crooked. You don’t know why, but you know that you want a solution. Your smile is your calling card to the world. When something is off with your smile, it can negatively affect your life in a variety of ways. You know that you need professional help, but the question that many people ask themselves is whether they should visit a dentist or an orthodontist.
First, it is important to understand that both a dentist and an orthodontist will have similar educational backgrounds. A bachelor degree is a must, and they both must apply to and get accepted by a dental school. Both will go through a four-year doctoral program.
Once they graduate from that doctoral program, a general dentist can start working right away. They will either have a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine. The degree is basically the same. The only difference is how some schools refer to the degree.
At this point, a dentist and orthodontist take separate paths. If the dentist wants to become an orthodontist, they have to take a residency that can last between two to three years. This residency must be at a university affiliated program that has been improved by the American Dental Association.
When you look at it from the standpoint of education, both a dentist and an orthodontist must go through extensive training. The difference is that the dentist will get around eight years of training, and the orthodontist will have up to 11.
So, why would you visit a dentist? A dentist is going to take care of all of your general oral health needs. They will do your routine checkups, your dental cleanings, give you X-rays, fill cavities and do other general healthcare procedures.
An orthodontist is going to have the training to perform procedures that are outside the scope of what a normal dentist does. For example, if you need braces or if you need your teeth realigned, an orthodontist will do this. An orthodontist will also help with jaw alignment. They have the training to diagnose, treat and even prevent problems with your bite.
So, if you have an overbite or an under bite, gaps in your teeth or crooked teeth, Dr. Pack is the one who can help you. Schedule an appointment at Pack Orthodontics so that he can evaluate your teeth and get you started on a treatment plan. We have various options for braces at our offices in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. Contact us today to book your orthodontic appointment.