What Is The Difference Between A Dentist And An Orthodontist

happy male dentist explaining what is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist

You’re on a journey to a brighter smile, and you’ve likely encountered terms like “dentist” and “orthodontist.” But are they the same thing? And do you need to see one before the other? Let’s unravel the mystery and explore the distinctions between these professionals.

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Are Dentists and Orthodontists the Same Thing?

While both dentists and orthodontists work with teeth, they serve different roles in your oral health journey.


Dentists are like the gatekeepers of your oral health. They perform routine check-ups, cleanings, and treatments for common dental issues such as cavities and gum diseases. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, have a cavity, or need a regular dental check-up, you should see a dentist.


Orthodontists, on the other hand, are specialists. They focus on straightening teeth and aligning jaws to improve your bite and create a beautiful, functional smile. If you’re considering braces or Invisalign to correct crooked teeth or misaligned jaws, it’s time to consult an orthodontist.

Do I Need to See a Dentist Before an Orthodontist?

In most cases, the answer is yes. It’s essential to visit a dentist before you see an orthodontist, especially if you haven’t had a recent dental check-up. Here’s why:

Assessing your oral health

Your dentist will evaluate your overall oral health. They will check for cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues that may require treatment before you get braces. Addressing these problems in advance can ensure a smoother orthodontic journey.

Collaborative care

Dentists and orthodontists often collaborate to provide you with the best care. For instance, a dentist may recommend a tooth extraction to create space for orthodontic treatment. This collaboration ensures that your orthodontic work aligns with your overall dental health.

In our clinic in Mesa, we always advise our patients to schedule a dental check-up before pursuing orthodontic treatment. It’s a crucial step in ensuring your smile transformation proceeds smoothly.

Somos Dental: Your Partner on the Journey to a Beautiful Smile

At Somos Dental, we understand the importance of achieving a straight and confident smile. That’s why we offer prepaid braces specials to make orthodontic care more accessible.

Visit us in any of our clinics:


Feel free to reach out to us at our number 623-869-1091 to ask for more information, or fill out our online form to SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION. Your journey to a beautiful smile begins here.

Whether you need a dentist for a check-up or an orthodontist to discuss braces, we’re here to provide friendly, expert care. Our commitment is to help you achieve a healthy and stunning smile.

Reach us today,
Your dream smile
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