Dentists focus on treating and preventing problems that affect the teeth
and gums. Orthodontists mainly focus on straightening the teeth and alignment
of the jaw. They fix misalignments using braces, invisible aligners, and
headgear. Learn more about the main differences between orthodontists
and dentists.


Orthodontics is a specialized field that focuses on straightening the teeth
and jaw. Orthodontists diagnose, treat and prevent misalignments using
fixed or removable devices. They must specialize in the field of orthodontics
after completing dental school.

Dentists treat various diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis. Orthodontists
treat malocclusions, which are not diseases but misalignments. Unlike
oral surgeons, they do not perform invasive surgeries that require anesthesia.
However, orthodontists may work with dentists or surgeons to combine different forms of

Dental treatments are usually short-term and last for 30 minutes to one
hour. Teeth cleaning is one example of a procedure that’s needed
only once a year. In contrast, orthodontic treatments last for several
months or years. Straightening the teeth occurs only as the teeth grow,
which is a gradual process. The investments are higher for patients who
must come in for multiple visits.


Dentistry is a broader field that focuses on the general health of teeth
and gums. It includes the subfield of orthodontics along with periodontics,
endodontics, and cosmetic dentistry. Dentists do not have to focus on
general dentistry including cleaning teeth, filling cavities and looking
for signs of gum disease. They can earn one or more years of training
to specialize in a chosen field.

Many people confuse orthodontists with dentists. Some think that the two
careers are the same, while others don’t know the differences. Anyone
who has braces or
Invisalign is likely to have visited an orthodontist. At Speaks Orthodontics, our
experience makes us local leaders in the field of orthodontics.
Contact us to ask about our procedures, costs, and benefits.