The Difference Between an Orthodontist and Dentist

The Difference Between an Orthodontist and Dentist
Posted on 11/15/2018
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Many people are confused over what the difference is between an orthodontist and a dentist because after all, both of these oral health care professionals help patients improve their smiles. Dr. Gonzalez is board certified and a member of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics (less than 10% of all orthodontists are Board Certified). He is also a board member of the Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Team at Methodist Hospital and Children's Hospital of San Antonio (Santa Rosa). He is the only orthodontist in San Antonio that has been granted privileges in both hospitals.

He is a highly regarded orthodontist frequently recognized as a “Super Dentist” in Texas Monthly magazine and locally in San Antonio Scene magazine as a “Top Dentist” in the orthodontic community. He has also been recognized as one of “America’s Top Dentists” by the Consumer Research Council of America.

All Orthodontists Are Dentists, But Not All Dentists Are Orthodontists

One important difference between orthodontists and dentists is the fact that all orthodontists like Dr. Gonzalez are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists. What this means is that general dentists successfully earn their DDS or DMD degrees from dental schools where they’ve learned how to treat the teeth, gums and mouth so they can provide their patients with many dental services including:

  • Preventative dental care
  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Bridges, crowns & dentures
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Veneers & teeth whitening

While your dentist is educated to provide you with the above services an orthodontist has had additional training. Following graduation for their dental degree, a dentist may apply to an orthodontic school that is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). This residency takes 2-3 years of additional training. Only an orthodontic specialist has the training provided by a program accredited by the American Dental Association to treat your misaligned teeth and jaws.

Orthodontists Undergo More Education Than Dentists

Once completing dental school and undergoing the 2-3 years of advanced training by an ADA recognized school the dentist is designated as a specialist in orthodontics or orthodontist. Only dentist that have received this additional training can be an orthodontist. Other dentists may advertise that they do orthodontics or braces, but they cannot call themselves an orthodontist. In Texas, a certified orthodontist may not treat patients for fillings, crowns, or other general dental procedures. This is an easy way to distinguish between an orthodontist who has had advanced training and a general dentist.

Some of the most common problems orthodontists work to correct include:

  • Misaligned or crooked teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Overcrowding of teeth
  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)

Why You Should Choose an Orthodontist for Braces or Invisalign

Just as you would choose a surgeon to provide you with a surgical procedure you need and not a general doctor, you would choose an orthodontist to provide you with the orthodontic treatment you need.

There are some people who’ve gotten braces or Invisalign from doctors who aren’t specialists or websites on the Internet who ended up needing to see an orthodontist later in life for retreatment.

To avoid this frustrating and costly mistake from happening, be sure to choose an orthodontist like Dr. Roy Gonzalez who is an expert in tooth movement and jaw function.

Book a Time With Your San Antonio Orthodontist!

To set up your first visit with Dr. Gonzalez, simply request an appointment today! We look forward to seeing you soon and providing you with the excellent orthodontic care you deserve!