Orthodontists and dentists offer similar services, but they are considered different from one another. A dentist provides basic oral care and disease prevention while a Queen Creek orthodontist focuses on teeth straightening and correcting structural issues in the mouth.
The following offers an in-depth explanation of both dentists and orthodontists.
Dentistry is a medical field that covers the care of the teeth, gums, jaw and nerves. The main focus of a dentist is to maintain the oral health of patients through regular exams, thorough cleanings and the treatment and prevention of diseases.
These services are typically performed at a dentist's office:
• X-rays. Dental X-rays are a very important step in oral care because they show what is going on below the gum line. They are helpful for seeing deep cavities, decay and root problems.
• Cleanings. Having the teeth cleaned twice per year is the best way to prevent decay and disease.
• Gum care. The gums are just as important to oral health as the teeth. A dentist will look at the gums to determine if they are receding or need special attention.
• Fillings. Cavities are the result of decay, and getting them filled early will prevent worse problems in the future.
• Bridges and crowns. These protect or replace teeth that are damaged or missing.
• Sealant. This closes up cracks and other small openings in teeth to protect them from decay and further damage.
• Fluoride treatments. These are usually started in childhood to give the person the best chance of avoiding cavities.
• Whitening. Usually done in a single appointment, whitening immediately improves the appearance of the teeth and gives the patient more confidence.
• Root canals. This is a more complex treatment that removes an infected or dead nerve and seals the tooth. It is most often performed on infected teeth but can be done for other reasons.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on straightening teeth and correcting bite problems. An orthodontist receives the same training as a dentist but is also educated to treat crowded and crooked teeth, gaps between teeth and misalignments of the jaw. These conditions have a large effect on how a patient chews, smiles, cares for their teeth and how confident they feel.
Typical orthodontic treatments include the following:
• Braces. These help to align teeth over time and improve the patient's smile.
• Retainer. This is a device that is worn after the straightening phase is complete to help the teeth maintain their new positions.
• Invisalign. A modern approach to braces, Invisalign discreetly straightens teeth and allows for proper oral care during treatment.
• Palatial expander.This device is worn by a child to help expand the upper jaw and straighten the teeth.
• Orthodontic surgery.This is performed to correct serious jaw problems and misalignments.
Whether a person needs the basic services of a dentist or the special care of an orthodontist, early detection and treatment is recommended for the best outcome.