An orthodontist or dentist explaining the operation of an oral appliance to the patient.
By News, Dentist

Should you see an orthodontist or dentist? It all depends on the purpose of your appointment. There are many differences between these two oral health professionals. It is these differences that will define whether you should see a dentist or an orthodontist.

Carrière Dentaire specializes in the dental field in Quebec. We are pleased to inform you about all the differences between an orthodontist and a dentist.

Difference between a dentist and an orthodontist: what do they do?

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? In order to understand these two jobs, let's start by defining them.

The orthodontist's profession

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who provides orthodontic treatment plans. Orthodontics is the dental discipline that aims to prevent or correct the position of the teethand the jaw (correction of malocclusions).

It is thus a profession of dentistry with a level of training and a specialized diploma compared to that of the general dentist. He is in a way a specialist dentist.

What does an orthodontist do?

The orthodontist works on oral appliances for the alignment and straightening of the patient's teeth, jaw and soft tissues. He or she focuses on the planning, fabrication and placement of orthodontic appliances that ensure the proper positioning of the teeth.

The orthodontist is also responsible for the maintenance and control of these devices that contribute to a good dental harmony. It is a profession in high demand, the search for a job as a dentist or an orthodontist is therefore quite simple.

Can a dentist do orthodontics?

No. Only an unspecialized dental surgeon can provide orthodontic services. Unfortunately, since they have not had this specific training, they cannot call themselves orthodontists.

The dentist is less specialized and takes care of the general oral health of his patients:

  • Regular dental examinations and care
  • Replacement of missing teeth
  • Caries treatment and prevention
  • Monitoring and treatment of gum disease
  • Certain dental surgery operations such as tooth extraction

Orthodontist or dentist: different studies

One of the things that sets these two professions apart is their training. After all, orthodontics offers a different type of treatment than dentistry. This specification requires many hours of additional training beyond dental school.

The training of a dentist

To become a dentist, you must complete a university education in dentistry and enroll in theOrder of Dentists of Quebec. For everything you need to know about studying to be a dentistWe invite you to consult our article on the subject.

The training of an orthodontist

To become an orthodontist in Quebec, you need a lot of patience. First of all, you have to follow 4 or 5 years of dental studies. Following the dental training program, successful completion of specialized university training in orthodontics is required.

There's more. Once the orthodontic specialist training is completed, the professional must choose between two options: either work in a private dental practice for one year to gain experience, or do one year in a multidisciplinary dental residency program recognized by ODQ and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Canada (RCDC).

Then, whether you are an orthodontist or a dentist, becoming a member of an association like theAssociation of Orthodontists of Quebec is essential.

To act as an orthodontist, one must therefore go beyond dental training. Orthodontics is to dentistry what orthopedics is to general practice. Like the dental surgeon, the orthodontist must therefore follow a academic training more advanced.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist for my dental consultation?

Do you need a root canal, gum treatment or dental implants? You should see a dentist. He is the professional responsible for your oral health and offers many treatments for infections or periodontal diseases.

However, if your problem concerns thetooth alignment or the jaw, you should consult an orthodontic specialist.

If you have any questions about your dental job search and all other information on the dental field, we cordially invite you to browse our specialized blog. We regularly publish information relevant to dental health and the dental field in Quebec.

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