Information You Need to Know on General Dentists and Orthodontists

The main difference between a DMD, DDS, and an orthodontist is education. Both a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) receive the same schooling to practice as general dentists.

Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and need an additional two to three years of education. Keep reading to learn more.

Though there is some confusion between the labels of DMD, DDS, and orthodontist, the differences are actually very simple. Looking at the services provided by each will help clear things up.

Services Offered by General Dentists—DMD and DDS

General dentists will provide common types of dental care that most people need:

Preventative Care

  • Dental checkups and exams
  • Cleanings
  • X-rays

Restorative Care

  • Tooth fillings
  • Dental crowns
  • Dentures
  • Root canals
  • Tooth removal

Cosmetic Dentistry

  • Teeth whitening
  • Veneers

Services Offered by Orthodontists

Orthodontists focus on the alignment of teeth and jaws using non-surgical procedures. They diagnose, prevent, and treat bad bites (crowded or crooked teeth).

Dental alignment includes several pieces of equipment or treatments:

  • Wires
  • Braces
  • Retainers
  • Other corrective devices

Why Is Proper Dental Health Important?

It is important to maintain proper preventative dental health habits for your child by visiting a general dentist regularly. If your child has an overbite, underbite, gaps, or overcrowded teeth, a general dentist can offer a referral to an orthodontist.

If your child needs to see an orthodontist, Kool Smiles also offers orthodontic services in many locations. Children with teeth alignment issues need to see an orthodontist as soon as possible because their teeth and jaws are not yet fully developed.

Your orthodontist will look at the teeth and jaws as they develop and get a good idea of the treatment that will be needed. If they determine that braces are necessary, they will go over the procedure with you and provide tips, such as what foods should be avoided while your child has braces.

Take a look at some of the foods that are allowed with braces:

Schedule an Appointment with Kool Smiles Today

Orthodontists usually wait until all adult teeth have come in before providing treatment for your children. In general, children around 12 or 13 are ready to get braces.

How do you know if your child needs a general dentist or an orthodontist? Ask a dentist at a Kool Smiles location near you or call your local office to get the information you need.



The Happy Tooth: