Orthodontist vs dentist

Orthodontist vs dentist: What’s The Difference?


All orthodontists were at one stage dentists before completing several more years’ study, during which they focus on growth, development and mechanics of teeth and bones. Orthodontists receive intensive training on many treatment appliances that allows them to personalise care specifically to your needs. It’s true, both orthodontists and dentists play important roles in the health of your teeth and gums however each have very different areas of expertise.

A specialist dentist


Your orthodontist is trained to take a holistic approach to treatment and will consider many factors like age and lifestyle that may be missed by a dentist whom has not had the specialist training. In most instances your dentist and orthodontists work closely to provide your care.

It is important to seek expert orthodontic advice if you have concerns about;

How your
smile looks

The shape
of your jaw

Teeth spacing
/ crowding

Bite or jaw

A holistic approach

If your family dentist sees that you need orthodontic work they should refer you to a specialist orthodontist. Likewise, if your orthodontist notices you need general dental work or cosmetic work you will be referred to your dentist. During orthodontic treatment it will be important to see you dentist for regular cleaning and hygiene checks as this will contribute to a beautiful result.

No referral needed

It’s important to know that while your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist, a referral is not needed. You can make an appointment without being referred by a dentist. To be registered as an orthodontist in Australia the following qualifications must be obtained. These qualifications are set in place to ensure you are able to seek out specialist care and receive appropriate treatment.

  • Bachelor degree in Dentistry (a 5 year full-time University course)
  • Masters degree in Orthodontics (a 3 year full-time University course)
  • Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)


We’d love to hear from you!

Enquire Now

How do you feel when you smile?

“When I smile, I know my teeth aren’t straight, so I smile with my mouth closed. I always feel awkward in photos, my confidence has left me and I just don’t know where to start.”
Sue, 33, VIC

Copyright © 2016 The Orthodontic Adviser.