What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

14 Apr

Ever wondered what the difference between your regular dentist and an orthodontist is? What is all the fuss about, and why can't general dentists put your braces in? If your answer is a yes, then let's get started! 

To become a dentist in the US, one must attend four years of dental school. During this time, one is taught basic medical subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, general medicine, surgery., etc., and specific dental subjects like oral pathology, periodontology, oral surgery, oral medicine, endodontics, etc., and yes, Orthodontics. 

Dental students have to give various written and practical examinations to move ahead and finally finish dental school, followed by an internship period and licensing exam. This gives them the tag of a dentist and allows them to practice as a general dentist. 

However, four years are not enough to gain in-depth and specialized knowledge about one subject as all these subjects are extensive. So, if a dentist wishes to do a specialized practice, they have to undergo a master's or a post-graduation program, which generally lasts from 3-4 years. 

During this period, a dentist will choose their specialty and spend their residency studying the intricacies of a specific branch of dentistry. To become an orthodontist, one must enroll in a post-graduate orthodontics program. This involves a series of research work, thesis submission, and extensive written and practical examinations. They perform teeth correction in patients under the guidance of their supervisor. At the end of 3 years, they finally have to undergo a licensing exam to practice as an orthodontist. So, an orthodontist has undergone eight years of intense training that gives them the knowledge and skill to perform complex procedures to ensure you have a well-aligned smile. 

So, if you are looking for an orthodontist near you, please reach out to us at Wilmington Orthodontic Center to schedule an appointment with your exceptional Orthodontist Dr. Pancko. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us, and we will be there to assist you in your journey to a beautiful dazzling smile.