Difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist

Difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist
Posted on 01/10/2024

Dr. Olson and the team at Olson Orthodontics in Verrado, AZ remain devoted to providing children, adolescent and adult patients with orthodontic care designed to not only improve appearance but also ensure general health. Patients rely on our orthodontist in Verrado to receive personalized treatment using state-of-the-art equipment and methods to achieve that goal. Oral health and overall well-being depend on the care provided by dentists and orthodontists alike. The individualized fields of practice differ secondary to differences in educational, training, and experience requirements.

A Glimpse into Dentistry

Dentists are physicians who possess a general degree in the field of dentistry. The education process commonly begins with achieving an undergraduate degree. A variety of math, science, and other classes must be completed as part of a typical four-year program according to the requirements mandated by the dental school in which the student desires to attend.

Upon acceptance into dental school, students spend another four years completing advanced coursework and gaining clinical experience pertaining to oral care and treatment. Upon completion, students earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine or a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Passing state and national examinations earns the graduate a license to practice in a particular state. Dentists of diagnose, treat, and provide care for:

  • Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)
  • Teeth whitening procedures
  • Extensive teeth cleaning
  • Tooth decay intervention with fillings or extractions
  • Root canal procedures
  • Crown or veneer single tooth coverage
  • Bridge and denture treatment

Advancing to Orthodontics

All orthodontists are dentists and initially obtain a doctorate in general dentistry. Then, students further their education by applying to an orthodontic residency program. Orthodontic residency programs are highly selective, therefore competitive applicants typically rank in the top 10% of their dental school class and achieve excellent standardized test scores.  The specialized training delves further into facial and oral anatomy, facial growth and development,  in addition to medical problems and treatment techniques. Upon fulfilling the requirements of the program and often conducting clinical research, students receive a master's degree in orthodontics. Physicians qualify to practice their orthodontic specialty after passing the state's board certification exam.

Orthodontists are qualified to provide the care and treatments typically offered by dentists. Additionally, your orthodontist in Verrado specializes in the treatment of jaw and tooth alignment. Consult Olson Orthodontics when needing specialized intervention for:

  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Overbite or underbite irregularities
  • Temporomandibular jaw disorders or TMJ

Dr. Olson commonly provides alignment correction therapy. After a thorough examination, and the formulation of an individualized treatment plan, the intervention begins with the process of applying juvenile or adult braces in Verrado.

Make an appointment with our office in Verrado/Buckfield or Litchfield Park. Allow our team to assist you in achieving a proud, bright, healthy smile while improving your overall health.

Olson Orthodontics

  • Litchfield Park Office - 13575 W. Indian School Rd., Suite 400, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 Phone: 623-536-7004
  • Verrado/Buckeye Office - 4252 N. Verrado Way, Suite 105, Buckeye, AZ 85396 Phone: (623) 536-7004

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