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HomeCareerAre Orthodontists Doctors? (Meaning, Career and FAQs)

Are Orthodontists Doctors? (Meaning, Career and FAQs)

Are orthodontists doctors? A professional having the necessary training to offer medical diagnosis, treatments, and preventative measures is a medical doctor.

They are able to provide their patients with the greatest care possible since they have in-depth understanding of the human body and its functions.

Despite the widespread notion that “doctor” solely refers to medical professionals, dentists and orthodontists are also regarded as doctors.

Who are Orthodontists?

A dentist with additional training in identifying, avoiding, and treating malocclusions (poor bites) and other dental and facial abnormalities is known as an orthodontist.

They specialize in adjusting teeth and jaw misalignments to improve the appearance of smiles and restore oral health.

More than only giving patients a straighter, more visually pleasing smile, orthodontic treatment has other objectives.

Orthodontic therapy aims to fix bite issues in addition to enhancing appearance, oral function, and preventing dental problems.

are orthodontists doctors

What Does an Orthodontist Do?

1. Traditional Braces:

Traditional braces attach metal brackets to the enamel of the teeth. A wire will be put through each bracket and gradually tightened throughout the therapeutic process.

Metal braces are made comprised of brackets, wires, and elastic bands. Ineffective bites, tooth crowding, and tooth spacing are just a few of the orthodontic issues they successfully treat.

Even if current versions are more discrete and pleasant, metal bracing are still visible.

2. Clear Aligners

An orthodontic tool used to straighten teeth is called a clear aligner. These transparent, plastic aligners are an alternative to traditional dental braces. The popularity of clear aligners like Invisalign has recently soared.

These transparent, perfectly fitted trays gradually realign teeth. Patients can clean and floss their teeth regularly while using transparent aligners, and they can eat all of their favorite foods without any inconvenience.

3. Retainer:

A dental appliance called a retainer is worn over the teeth to hold them firmly in place. After receiving orthodontic treatment, it helps keep teeth from moving out of alignment.

After receiving orthodontic treatment, wearing a retainer is typically required. Retainers prevent teeth from shifting and maintain them in their new position.

Retainers can be permanently attached to the back of the teeth or are removable.

4. Orthodontic Surgery

Extreme jaw irregularities could be too severe to be corrected by orthodontic therapy.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontics, and other specialists may work together to conduct orthognathic surgery in specific cases.

The purpose of this surgery is to align and balance the jaws. It’s important to note that orthodontic treatment isn’t just for children and teenagers.

Many adults want orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles or correct previous dental issues; it is not just for kids.

By realigning the dentoalveolar components of the maxilla and mandible to create a class I dental occlusion, surgery seeks to enhance the facial aesthetics.

Is a Career as an Orthodontist a Good Choice?

It is, indeed. The advantages of becoming an orthodontist include high pay, strong demand, and the ability to help others, but there are also cons, including high schooling costs, high stress levels, and long hours.

Following a visit to an orthodontist for the purpose of improving a person’s smile’s aesthetic defects, their confidence and happiness may rise.

Through routine exams and procedures intended to improve the smile, orthodontists also help dental patients achieve optimal dental health.

If you’re thinking about becoming an orthodontist, there are numerous things to take into account, such as the career outlook.

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Are Orthodontists Doctors?

Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in straightening teeth, whereas doctors cure illnesses and injuries. Both must finish comparable postsecondary training requirements. Doctors can choose to practice as general practitioners or specialists. Others treat patients at clinics or run practices where they continuously offer patients healthcare services, while some treat patients who visit the emergency room after an accident.

Doctors and orthodontists share some general responsibilities as medical practitioners. They examine patients, assess them, and have conversations with patients about their conditions. With their patients, they go over both possible treatments and diagnoses. Orthodontists treat patients who have problems with their teeth’s alignment and put braces on them or make other products that can help. Some general medical services, like setting broken bones or writing prescriptions for patients, may be done by doctors. While doctors are trained to treat patients with a variety of ailments and accidents, orthodontists specialize in providing oral care specifically.

Getting into Orthodontics

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Entry into orthodontic residency programs and dental schools requires a bachelor’s degree.

Future orthodontists typically excel in a variety of natural subjects throughout their undergraduate study to prepare for a career in medicine.

2. Pass the DAT Test

After earning their bachelor’s degrees, students who wish to pursue a career in dentistry are required to do well on the Dental Admission Test (DAT).

Typically, dental school lasts four years, during which time students are exposed to every aspect of the field. They research oral pathology, radiography, and dental procedures.

Graduates of dental schools that are accredited receive either the DDS or the DMD degree. However, an orthodontist’s long and fruitful career is only beginning.

3. Finish Further Coursework and Residency Programs:

Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that requires substantial study after dental school.

These two- to three-year programs are meant to provide students with a thorough education in orthodontics.

During a residency program, aspiring orthodontists may pick the brains of seasoned experts in the field to learn the ropes.

They develop skills in the recognition of dental and facial irregularities, the creation of effective treatment plans, and the effective implementation of those plans with orthodontic appliances.

Dentists who have passed a board exam and an orthodontic residency program are eligible to use the title “Orthodontic Specialist.”

Dentists Vs. Orthodontists

General dental procedures like cleanings, fillings, extractions, and root canals are provided by dentists that specialize in different dental diseases.

But orthodontists are specialists in realigning the teeth and jaws.

Due to their considerable orthodontic training, they are skilled at identifying and treating malocclusions as well as other orthodontic problems.

Orthodontists can create unique treatment plans because they have a thorough understanding of facial growth and development.

They gently move teeth into position by using braces, aligners, and other orthodontic instruments, improving dental health and aesthetics.

NB: The length of orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient depending on a number of variables. It’s possible that some patients need to receive treatment for a longer period of time than others.

Treatment times may be shortened by orthodontic technological advancements like accelerated orthodontics. Orthodontists work hard to provide patients with excellent care fast.

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are orthodontists doctors

The Importance of Orthodontic Care

1. It Fixes Bite Issues in one Way:

Malocclusions such overbites, underbites, and crossbites can impact all three of the following: biting, chewing, and speaking. They may also result in tooth decay, migraines, and jaw pain.

By addressing specific bite irregularities, orthodontic therapy can enhance tooth function and reduce discomfort.

2. It Improves Oral Hygiene.

It is more challenging to correctly floss and brush teeth that are crowded or crooked.

Brushing and flossing may not be as effective in preventing cavities, gum disease, and foul breath.

By straightening the teeth, orthodontic therapy raises the likelihood of good oral hygiene and minimizes the likelihood of dental conditions.

NB: Orthodontic treatment is beneficial for people of all ages.

Many people seek orthodontic treatment to restore or enhance their smiles after years of disrepair. You can have a stunning, confident smile at any age.

3. It Reduces the Risk of Dental Complications:

Untreated tooth and jaw misalignment can lead to dental issues.

Too-close teeth make it difficult for bacteria and food to travel between them, which can result in cavities and gum disease.

Orthodontic treatment enhances long-term dental health and helps avoid these problems.

4. It Increases Self-Belief:

Simply straightening one’s teeth and improving one’s smile can considerably increase one’s confidence and sense of worth.

Because orthodontic treatment improves both dental health and the appearance of the smile, patients experience an improvement in confidence and self-esteem.

NB: Although some initial discomfort during orthodontic treatment is to be expected, the procedure is typically not painful.

Minor patients may experience minor tenderness or discomfort during modifications, although this is easily treated with over-the-counter painkillers and skin protection wax.

Orthodontists work to ensure that their patients are as at ease as possible while undergoing treatment.

are orthodontists doctors

Frequently Asked Questions

Are braces and orthodontics the same thing?

Orthodontic treatment seeks to accomplish more than just a balanced smile. Even though wearing braces might improve your appearance, general dentists frequently lack the specific skills required to identify and treat problems with the jaw and bite.

Can wisdom teeth be removed by an orthodontist?

Anytime an orthodontist or dentist determines that removing your wisdom teeth is necessary owing to the existence of infections or cysts brought on by the teeth's continuous development, this can be done.

How painful is the removal of wisdom teeth?

You won't experience any pain as your wisdom teeth are removed because the area around them will be numbed. If you feel pain during the procedure, you should let your dentist or oral surgeon know.


Because of their significant medical expertise, orthodontists are especially qualified to handle orthodontic problems.

They help patients regain their dental health, functionality, and self-confidence. Because of their education and expertise, orthodontists may design customized treatment plans for each of their patients.

They provide exceptional orthodontic care by utilizing cutting-edge technology and procedures.



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