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Why See an Orthodontist Instead of a Dentist?

Jul 29, 2023Orthodontic Treatment, Pediatric Dentistry

adorable baby with a yellow bear

While most people understand that dentists and orthodontists take care of teeth, they don’t always know the difference between these two professionals. However, when you’re planning to start braces treatment, it’s good to clearly understand the best person to visit to reach your smile goals! 

Today, we’re going to break down how these smile experts differ and answer the most crucial question from our patients: why should you go see an orthodontist instead of a dentist?

Oral Health with Great Vibes: What is a Dentist?

Dentists, also known as general or family dentists, are the first point of contact for most oral health concerns. They take a holistic approach to oral health and treat everything from decayed teeth to gum disease. Dentists provide essential services like cleanings and fluoride treatments – but they can also help fix up your smile with fillings or extractions. These oral health experts are always on the lookout for cavities and gum problems; much of their time is spent teaching their patients how to prevent dental disease. They have extensive training from dental school but only specialize in areas like orthodontics or pediatric dentistry if they pursue additional schooling. So, the next time you show off a healthy smile, thank a dentist for keeping your mouth in check!

When to See a Dentist

Going to the dentist is crucial for maintaining your smile. Here are just a few reasons why you might visit the dentist:

  • Routine Checkup
  • Cleanings
  • Fluoride Treatments
  • Cavities or Dark Spots
  • Tooth Pain
  • Sore or Bleeding Gums
  • Fillings or Extractions
  • Teeth Whitening
child holding up Invisalign clear aligner trays

Alignment with Great Vibes: What is an Orthodontist?

Orthodontists are specialists who come in when your dental needs go beyond the usual checkup. These superstars have mastered the art of perfecting your bite and teeth alignment, ensuring that your smile looks top-notch and functions correctly too! No quick fixes here – orthodontists devise personalized treatment plans for you, your bite, and your smile. These dental professionals are experts in all things related to teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue, making them the go-to for anyone needing dental alignment or braces. After two or more years of studying at an accredited dental program, orthodontists have the knowledge and experience to correct the movement of teeth, jaws, and beyond. With an orthodontist on your side, you can be confident that your smile is in good hands!

When to See an Orthodontist

Orthodontists are more specialized, so you only need to share your smile with one if you have bite or alignment issues. 

  • Crooked Teeth
  • Extra Dental Space
  • Misaligned Jawbones
  • Overbite, Underbite, or Crossbite
  • Crowding or Protruding Teeth
  • Early Interceptive Orthodontics for Children
  • Difficulty Eating or Speaking

And, of course, you’ll always want to visit an orthodontist for any issues or questions related to braces, clear aligners, or retainers!

If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist or an orthodontist in Asheville, Waynesville, Reynolds Mountain, or Sylva, NC, it’s time to check out Great Smiles! With over 40 years of incredible dental and orthodontic work under our belts, you can trust our team to ensure you and your little one have a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Positive Communication

Choose a children’s dental practice near you where you and your child feel comfortable. You want good, effective communication and education. Look for a pediatric dentist who takes the time to explain procedures in a child-friendly manner, addressing any concerns or questions your child may have. 

Children dentistry and orthodontics

Final Thoughts on Finding a Pediatric Dentist Near You

Friendly staff and dentists who are skilled in interacting with children can help alleviate anxiety and create a positive dental experience for you and your child. Have a conversation with the staff when you call or ask to have a quick conversation with one of the pediatric dentists before you make an appointment.

Or, if you go and something does not fit about the experience– the service, the location near you, the atmosphere– then switch to a different dentist for your kids.

By prioritizing your child’s comfort, communication, and comprehensive care, you can ensure that they receive the best possible dental experience and lay the foundation for a lifetime of oral health.