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What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

Both dentists and orthodontists have certain commonalities with one another, but knowing their differences is essential to receiving the best possible treatment. Each doctor has broad training in dentistry over a period of four years. During these years of education they will either be awarded a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM), depending on their focused area of training. Typically, if choosing to be a general dentist by profession, students will be able to stop their primary dental education here. However, this is where the biggest difference between dentists and orthodontists comes into effect: orthodontists will then continue their courses and training with a specific focus on the movement of the teeth, jaw, and overall oral structures. This is the biggest factor that sets our New Jersey orthodontist, Dr. Patrick T. Cuozzo, apart from a general dentist. Orthodontists are experts at aligning teeth, improving bite issues, and helping the jaws to develop properly.

The differences between the treatments that dentists and orthodontists offer play a big role in deciding which doctor you should visit. Often, patients will visit a dentist for more general dental health concerns, as well as cosmetic and restorative treatments. Orthodontists, on the other hand, have special training allowing them to perform advanced procedures designed to improve teeth alignment, bite concerns, and jaw issues. At Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists, Dr. Pat offers a full range of treatments, such as lingual braces, Invisalign®, traditional braces, and many others that may not be available at a general dentist’s office.

Dr. Pat further set himself apart from general dentists when he became a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. This incredibly high standard indicates that he is board-certified and was evaluated by his peers on his orthodontic knowledge and clinical skills. Through this extensive education and experience, Dr. Pat is exceptionally qualified to perform a comprehensive array of advanced orthodontic treatments.

If you have any questions about how an orthodontist and a dentist are different, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

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