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Knowing Whether You Need a Dentist or an Orthodontist (or Both)

It can be confusing navigating the field of oral health. Like so many things today, there are suggestions, opinions, and recommendations coming at you from every which way. How do you know what kind of treatment you need, or which toothpaste will be best for you, with so many different options out there?

Something that can often be confusing for people is the distinction between an orthodontist and a dentist. Do you need to see both?

Both an orthodontist and a dentist have the goal of helping you improve your oral health. They do, however, have different ways of doing so and focus on different areas of oral health.

What does a dentist do?

Your dentist is someone you should have been seeing regularly since you were a child. It is universally recommended that you see a dentist every six months for most of your life.

The dentist will focus on the health of your teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. They focus on the overall oral hygiene. Your dentist is the one who can clean teeth, fill cavities, and help prevent gum disease.

We want to encourage you to stay consistent with your dentist visits.  Preventative care is the best measure.

What does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is under the same umbrella as dentistry as they focus on oral health but an orthodontist has extra school to help with specific orthodontic needs. These needs include misaligned teeth, overcrowded teeth, underbites, overbites, crossbites and more.

Since orthodontia is a more specialized field, your orthodontist is not someone you grow up visiting regularly. It is recommended around the age of seven, children visit an orthodontist for their first evaluation.

Do I need a referral from my dentist to visit the orthodontist?

You do not need a referral to visit an orthodontist. There are many cases where your dentist may recommend you see an orthodontist, but it is not necessary to have a referral from them.

If you are self conscious of your smile or feel you want to correct your bite, you don’t need a dentist to tell you that. You deserve to have a smile you can be proud of showing off, and an orthodontist will help get you there.

Do I need to visit the dentist during orthodontic treatments?

Dentist visits during orthodontic treatment are very important. The two work together very well. Your dentist will still be able to perform regular cleanings with any orthodontic treatment. They are trained to work around braces to ensure good oral hygiene.

Cosmopolitan Orthodontics wants to work hand in hand with your dentist to fill all your Twins Cities ortho needs. Let us be apart of the team that will make sure your smile is healthy and confident!