What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

People often wonder what the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is. An orthodontist is a dentist who has specialized in correcting misaligned bites and teeth that are out of place. Both dentists and orthodontists have gone to dental school and graduated with a degree in dental medicine. Dentists begin work in a practice that oversees the general health of a person’s mouth, specifically the teeth. Orthodontists are dentists who go on to specialized training after dental school. Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and correcting issues of the jaw and the bite. 

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How do I know when to see a dentist or an orthodontist?

Sometimes the question arises whether one should see a dentist or an orthodontist. For most people, you should be seeing a dentist every 6 months for checkups and cleanings. This is just good practice for great oral health. Dentists can and do repair issues like cavities. If you are going to the dentist regularly, your doctor will see a problem like this long before it becomes an issue for you in the form of a toothache.

Dentists also take X-rays and pay attention to the bone health of your jaw, as well as below-the-gum issues. A dentist will also notice if you have problems with your bite or with the position of your teeth.

Typically, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist if you need treatment for misaligned teeth or bite. Dentists in Lawrence, KS trust Invisalign doctors at Hamilton, Wilson, & Hendrickson Orthodontics to provide their patients with the highest level of orthodontic care. 

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If you happen to be one of these patients whose dentist referred to an orthodontist, we have some good news! You have many more options than you might expect. You may remember a time when a person’s only option was traditional braces with brackets and wires. While that treatment is still the orthodontic world’s workhorse, there are other treatments available that you may be interested in exploring. For instance, Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics has treated hundreds of local families with Invisalign clear aligners in Lawrence, KS. 

Invisalign is a clear tray that is molded to your teeth exactly and moves your teeth into the position they need to be in. It does this by adjusting the clear aligner you get every two weeks in the mail with a slight adjustment. Over time, these clear aligners move your teeth into the position to help you get a smile that you are pleased with and correct any issues you might have with your bite. 

 

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One of the biggest questions people have about braces and Invisalign is whether there are food restrictions. With traditional braces, there are food restrictions. Different types of things you might eat can adversely affect the hardware. But with Invisalign, you have no worries. When it’s time to eat, you take out your clear aligner, eat your meal, brush your teeth and your clear aligner, and put the clear aligner back in your mouth. You can eat anything you want to!

Ready To Get Started?

If you think this is the right treatment for you, we invite you to visit our Invisalign page where you will find a more in-depth look at what that treatment looks like. It is our goal to answer any questions that you might have about Invisalign. The great thing is that if we don’t answer a question on our website that you have, you can contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. If you don’t have any questions, and you know that this is the treatment you want, then start a virtual consult. Virtual consult is a free consultation that is exactly what it sounds like. You use your smartphone to answer some questions and take a few pictures of the inside of your mouth, and the web app uploads your information to our office where our professional staff review your information. If treatment is necessary, we will ask you to come into our office in order to begin treatment. It’s simple, and we look forward to seeing you.

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