There are around 10,000 orthodontists practicing in the United States as well as 200,000 dentists. This may seem confusing to some people who have been led to believe that dentists and orthodontists largely do the same job!
The truth is that orthodontists and dentists, even though they both work with teeth, are very different.
If you’ve been wondering whether you need an orthodontist vs. dentist and what exactly each one does, read on to find out the differences.
Most of us are familiar with the dentist. They’re professionals of oral health and their job is to make sure we’re taking care of our teeth and help us achieve that goal.
They deal with a broad range of oral health topics, from teeth cleaning to gum health. They can also help with some cosmetic procedures, and some dentists don’t work as general dentists but have specialties. For example, they might specialize in pediatric care.
While dental hygienists are usually the ones who take care of routine cleanings, a dentist is there to oversee this for patients and to fix anything that’s gone wrong. They fill cavities, do root canals, and may deal with extractions too.
There’s a very broad range of things a dentist can help with, and patients are usually recommended to see one every six months so that they can deliver care before anything goes too wrong with the teeth.
Orthodontists are, in a way, dental specialists. For the most part, their job is to deal with alignments issues in the teeth and jaw.
Most people will first see an orthodontist when they’re a young child to make sure their mouth is developing in a way that will leave them with straight teeth and a good bite as an adult. Often at this age, the orthodontist will decide that braces are the best course of action to keep the mouth aligned.
That doesn’t mean they only deal with dental procedures in children that involve alignment. Many adults will see an orthodontist, and it usually requires a referral from a dentist.
If you’d like straighter teeth or a better alignment, you can ask your dentist about this and hopefully get a referral. If your alignment is off in a way that’s very obvious or could cause health issues, your dentist will likely give you this referral on their own.
Orthodontist vs. Dentist: Cost
Choosing a dentist and orthodontist, for many people, depends on the cost and whether they’re in-network with the patient’s insurance company. Dental insurance is relatively picky about who you visit, and the costs can get very high!
Often, insurance becomes a lot trickier when you visit an orthodontist. They’re technically a specialist, so insurance might not cover all of the cost and depending on the procedure, they may not cover any at all — even if you have specific dental insurance.
This is because some orthodontist treatments aren’t medically necessary.
Some insurance will pay for orthodontist costs but require a referral from a dentist to ensure the trip was necessary.
If you’ve decided you need to see an orthodontist, make sure you cover what’s needed with your insurance or that you can afford to pay out of pocket for the services.
Orthodontist vs. Dentist: Qualifications
The processes to become a dentist and an orthodontist are largely similar. Both have to pursue an undergraduate degree before entering dentistry school and take the National Dentistry Exam at the end.
The national average score is 87%, showing that most people who get to this stage do pretty well.
Those who want to become an orthodontist must go on to do a residency for two to three years, so becoming an orthodontist definitely takes more time. They also must pass additional tests at the end of this, so a lot more studying is required to become an orthodontist!
Oddly enough though, orthodontists often make less money than dentists after doing this at an average of $145,000 per year in the United States.
Which Should I See?
Surprisingly, despite the training that orthodontists undergo, some states permit dentists to carry out the same procedures. If you have a dentist you trust and need braces or other alignment help, they may be able to do this for you and that’s wonderful if you have a good relationship with your dentist.
If you’re in a state that doesn’t allow this or are looking for the best expertise, it’s a good idea to ask for an orthodontist referral. Your dentist may be the best at regular dental procedures but orthodontists have undergone additional training and spend their whole day specifically focusing on this one issue.
That means they’re generally the best at it!
However, if it’s not alignment issues you’re worried about, then don’t concern yourself with the thought of an orthodontist. They do one thing and one thing only and for everything else, it’s your dentist you want — or a different specialist they may refer you to.
Dentists and Orthodontists Are Both Valuable!
Remember, when it comes to whether you want an orthodontist vs. dentist, they’re both very valuable. An orthodontist has a lot of expertise in one particular area you may need help with, and your dentist can provide lifelong help with oral health and anything that may go wrong in your mouth.
Listen to your dentist’s advice about what you need and see an orthodontist if necessary.
If you’re looking for a great dentist in Indianapolis, contact us today, and let’s see how we can help!
Dr. Laura Geiger from Southeast Family Dental talks about the implications of buying an over-the-counter mouth guard to protect your teeth. Dr. Geiger covers both short-term and long-term solutions and how to make sure you are not causing problems with your bite or your gum tissue. https://youtu.be/XvBl40xbb7U [https://youtu.be/XvBl40xbb7U] Video Transcript Hi, this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. Today I’m just gonna talk real briefly about some mouth guards. We have lots of people come in, either clenching, jaw pain, always asking questions about guards. I tend to tell people, you are welcome to try an over-the-counter. This is where it gets a little bit questionable, because there’s so many over-the-counter guards, it gets overwhelming, you’re going to the store, you’re trying to figure out what you need to get. There’s tons of them. What should you look for in a mouth guard? Most the time I tell people, you don’t need to spend as much as you think you do. What you generally want to look for, in most cases, one that covers your entire, either top of your teeth, all your top teeth or all of your bottom teeth is a great choice, and there are some that only cover kind of the front teeth, either top or bottom, which work well, but those are more short-term for – you can do them short term for clenching but they’re usually more short term for jaw pain. So, if you’re having pain, popping, clicking in your joint, that’s a great thing to try but again it’s a short-term relief. More long-term, you want something that covers your entire, again top or bottom, because what can happen with those ones that only cover the front teeth, over time it can change your bite and the way that your teeth fit together. So, not a good long-term option. Let your dentist see your mouth guard I would also make sure if you do buy one, that you’re telling your dentist, bringing it to your appointment, if you’re happy with it, great, we’ll look at it, make sure it fits well, it’s doing what we want, and it doesn’t have any other of those implications as far as changing bite or causing problems with the tissue or anything. So, always a question that I get and usually pretty easy, again rule of thumb is one that covers again your entire top or bottom teeth. Again this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. Remember, we can make you smile.
Are you struggling to eat your favorite food? Perhaps you’ve got gaps in your teeth, or your dentures are loose. If so, it would be best to consider getting dental implants. Apart from slurred speech, missing teeth contribute to the appearance of sunken jaws or cheeks. Also, a missing tooth or loose dentures can lower your self-esteem, making it difficult to smile or speak in public. But do you know dental implants can solve these and more oral issues? There are numerous benefits of dental implants. They include; correcting loose bridges, boosting self-confidence, and improving overall oral health. However, it’s paramount to seek treatment from the best periodontist to enjoy all these benefits. To pick the right specialists, be clearheaded and know what to look for. Are you still not sure that you need dental implants? If so, keep reading to learn more about dental implant benefits. * Prevent Bone Loss The roots of your teeth are responsible for sending signals to tell your jawbone to grow. However, after losing any of your teeth, your body reabsorbs the bone where the root of that tooth was. This makes your face cave in. Dental implants have titanium rods that anchor them into your jawbone and encourage it to grow. So with those rods, they’re able to prevent bone loss and protect your face shape. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that stimulates the jawbone to prevent bone loss. * Matches Your Natural Teeth Dental implants are available in different sizes and shapes. Your dentist will design implants that match your surrounding teeth’ color, shape, and size. Also, they’ll ensure the implants fit perfectly in the gap so that no one but you and your dentist can identify them. With the help of modern technology and materials, dental implants look as realistic as they feel. So whether you put dentures, crowns, or bridges on your implants, no one can distinguish your natural teeth from them. * Restores Your Self-confidence If you’ve got a gap in your smile, you know how self-conscious you can be when talking or laughing in public. In most cases, you get wrapped up in how other people see and think about your gap. Also, you worry so much about how it interferes with your speech. With implants, you can go out and have unlimited fun without wasting time thinking about your teeth. They give you a smile that feels and looks natural and allow you to speak and laugh with confidence. * Improves Your Oral Health Even though getting dental implants may sound intimidating, they’re the best treatment for lost teeth. This is because they don’t cause negative impacts on your remaining teeth. Instead, they protect you from getting dental cavities. The material that is used in making the best dental implants can’t decay. That means, with them, you’ll never have to worry about suffering tooth cavities. * Easy to Maintain Implants capped with crowns are very low-maintenance. They only require a good and straightforward dental hygiene routine to last for a long time. Your oral hygiene routine should include: * brushing your teeth at least twice a day * using mouthwash and flossing at least once a day * Visiting your dentist for a preventive cleaning after every six months If you do all these, you don’t have to add any unique products to clean and care for them. * They’re Durable Your dental implants can last you for a lifetime with proper oral hygiene. Due to wear and tear, you’ll need to replace crowns on your implants after every fifteen years or so. The bridges will require replacement every five to fifteen years, depending on the quality of your dental hygiene. For dentures, they’ll need replacement every five to eight years. In addition, they’ll want regular adjustments to keep them fitting properly due to the bone loss on the jawbone. Generally, dental implants are incredibly durable and hassle-free. * They’re More Comfortable Dental implants are fixed directly into the jawbone to simulate your tooth’s root and strengthen the prosthetic. Your jawbone grows and holds the titanium rod more firmly in your jaw during the healing process. This improved stability makes implants feel like natural teeth. Due to the comfort that comes with dental implants, you might even forget they’re even there. Other teeth replacement options cannot simulate tooth roots, so they don’t feel as secure as implants do. * Enable Natural Speech Your teeth help create specific sounds, so they can alter your speech if missing. Also, loose dentures might slide as you speak, thus making you lisp or slur. This can be embarrassing and might discourage you from speaking in public. Dental implants are the best when dealing with such issues. They fill the gap in your teeth, thus providing a surface for your tongue to press against when talking. In addition, they support your dentures to ensure they don’t slip or slide around your mouth when speaking. As a result, implants enable you to speak with ease and confidence. With improved self-confidence rest assured to better performance even at your workplace. * Allows You to Eat Your Favorite Foods Your ability to chew food is negatively impacted if your molars are missing. That means it might be difficult to enjoy eating hard or crunchy foods. However, implants fill those gaps, making it easier to eat any food. In addition, implant-supported dentures allow you to eat whatever you’d like in public without any fear. This is because you can never run the risk of dentures sliding as you eat. THESE ARE THE TOP BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS If you’ve lost your tooth or have loose dentures, going for dental implants is ideal. They’ll give you a chance to enjoy numerous benefits if they’re embedded well on your jaw. Above are the key benefits of dental implants. Are you planning to get dental implants? At Southeast Family Dental, we can help you out. We specialize in providing our clients with dental work that lasts long, looks, and feels great. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Dentistry is a common need in the modern-day and age – we have more technology, more tools, and a lot more access to good and proper dental hygiene and care, and that usually works out very well for us! Heading to the dentist is a very mundane activity. We go regularly to make sure our mouths are clean and healthy, and we don’t tend to think much of it! It’s another part of life that we get on with, as it ensures our health and wellbeing for longer. And yet, sometimes dental procedures can still make people nervous. Let’s examine one such situation below. Do You Trust Your Dentist? Your dentist needs to be someone you can trust. If you walk into a dentist’s office and you’re not quite sure about the setting, or the medical professionals you’re about to see, you’re not going to feel comfortable letting them root around in your mouth with all kinds of dental tools. From cleaning tools to teeth scrapers to simple mirrors, all kinds of apparatus can be used to assess the condition of your teeth, any fillings you may have, as well as braces you may have currently fitted, and you may even require an x-ray at some point. It can be hard to stay calm during procedures like these, especially for children who are nervous about anything out of the ordinary, and you need to have a trustworthy and skilled doctor on your side. Even just opening your mouth wide enough for a dentist to examine your teeth and gums can really ache the jaw! But What If That Dentist Couldn’t See? If you walked into your dentist’s office and noticed something out of place, would you still trust that your checkup or procedure would be completed safely and effectively that day? What if the dentist walked in after you’d made yourself comfortable in the chair wearing glasses to protect their eyes? Would you think it was normal for such a thing to occur? Would you think it was a problem? Would your mind instantly jump to the possibility that your dentist had gone blind? https://youtu.be/tLWWswZ0xbk [https://youtu.be/tLWWswZ0xbk] If not, let’s delve a little deeper into the mystery. What if they had a hard time seeing you, or reached out to the wrong side of the room to shake your hand? What if they couldn’t grab ahold of the necessary tool, and needed a nurse to guide them? Would you start to doubt their ability then? Would you still feel like you were in safe hands, and could trust your dentist? Probably not! So, what would you do? Would you speak up about this strange predicament you had found yourself in? Would you question if the dentist was okay, or if you needed to rearrange your appointment? How far would the dentist need to go before you called time on the arrangement, and asked what, exactly, was going on? What If It Was All Just A Prank? Pranks can be funny, depending on who is on the receiving end! But when it comes to playing a prank on a member of your family, one of the best people to prank would be one of your parents. Someone who cares for you and your health, and who would be concerned by a blind dentist walking into the room about to work on their children! Imagine the scenario: it’s a family dentist appointment, and you’re a busy parent with three children who just want to get the trip over and done with. You’re feeling rushed, you want to get out, and then a dentist wearing dark glasses who cannot see a thing in front of them walks into the room. The nurse explains they recently became blind, and they’re around to help guide the dentist as they work on one of your children, already sat in the chair. What do you think would happen next? The dentist should be a place that makes you feel comfortable, whilst out of your comfort zone, and if something completely out of the ordinary like this occurs, you’d have to think about how you’d cope! Don’t worry, you can watch this scene happen in real-time. A very clever YouTube video (see above) has put this entire scenario together – set in a family dentist, three daughters decide to prank their father with a dentist who cannot see, about to give them a checkup. How does he react? Well, you’ll just have to watch the video to find out!
Did you know that you can save the planet by brushing your teeth? Not in the way you have been doing for the past so many years, though. Introducing, Bite Toothpaste Bits! What is Bite Toothpaste Bits? Bite Toothpaste Bits are dried powder tablets that come in recyclable glass jars. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty details later. It is the name of the brand given for chewable toothpaste tablets created by a US company. The company is named Bite. It may sound odd to include the name “paste” in it, knowing it doesn’t come in that form at all. Well initially. But on the bright side, how else can you introduce it to a market which has been using toothpaste their whole life. So, adding the word “Bits” in the end addresses that. How Does Bite Toothpaste Work? All you need to do is bite or chew on the toothpaste tablets as a replacement for the usual toothpaste you’re familiar with. As you do so, the tablet interacts with your saliva and turns into a paste. With the aid of a moist toothbrush, you then start brushing. As with regular toothpaste, it is not meant to be swallowed. How is Bite Toothpaste Different/ Unique? Compared to the traditional way of brushing, biting into a tablet instead of the regular paste in a tube is quite a unique experience in itself. Compared to the other toothpaste tablets in the market today, the Bite Toothpaste Bits result has a pleasant minty, smooth watery paste. Minus a clumpy or sometimes grainy texture. Another characteristic of this particular dental tablet is, it’s not as thick as the regular toothpaste once you start brushing. Another unique feature of the Toothpaste Bits is the low Relative Dentin Abrasivity or RDA. RDA is a method used by dental organizations to measure toothpaste’s abrasiveness from harmful, high, medium, and low. Top of the line whitening toothpaste usually has a score of 100-150, which falls in the highly abrasive category. Bite’s Mint falls on the 43 category and the Mint Charcoal way lower at 24. To put this into perspective, the higher the rating, the more abrasive it is. Which means it can cause a whole lot of damage to your teeth. However, this, in turn, removes stains more effectively. The comfort of using Bite bits on a long term basis is that you won’t have to worry about damaging your teeth, which is what we’re trying to do in the first place. Yet another unique advantage of the Toothpaste bits is, the company claims the TSA approves it. Although traveling isn’t much of a thing nowadays, it’s best to know that you can bring this along if ever you do get to travel in the future. Since it’s smaller than a tube of toothpaste, it is more portable. You can bring as many as you need in a small bottle or resealable plastic rather than a large tube. Flavors and Ingredients Bite Toothpaste has three flavors to choose from. Fresh Mint, Activated Charcoal, and Berry Twist. They also have the seasonal Autumn Spice, only made available seasonally. The ingredients used are all organic and abide by the USFDA guidelines. Vegans can also use this product. * Fresh Mint is composed of Xylitol, Erythritol, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Mint Flavor, Guar Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Menthol, Sodium Bicarbonate, Rice Extract, Zinc Citrate, Silicon Dioxide. * Mint Charcoal ingredients are Xylitol, Erythritol, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Mint Flavor, Guar Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Menthol, Sodium Bicarbonate, Charcoal, Rice Extract, Zinc Citrate, Silicon Dioxide. * Berry Twist is an excellent option for kids. It’s made up of Xylitol, Erythritol, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Rice Extract Blend, Zinc Citrate, Silicon Dioxide. * Autumn Spice ingredients are Xylitol, Erythritol, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Spiced Flavor, Guar Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Menthol, Rice Extract, Zinc Citrate, Silicon Dioxide. It’s also important to note that all flavors do not contain fluoride. Note: Dr. Geiger and Dr. Jones love this concept but wouldn’t buy until a fluoride option is available. Environment Friendly As you may have guessed, based on the ingredients above, the Bite Toothpaste Bits is excellent for the environment. The fact that it uses self-sustaining materials like the recyclable glass jars makes it a zero-waste product. It can be refilled with bits that come in biodegradable packaging. Compared to the plastic tubes that we throw in the trash how many times in a year. If you’re not yet aware, around 1 billion tubes of toothpaste are disposed of every year. If you want a clearer picture, that’s over 50 times the Empire State Building’s size when piled up together, ending up in landfills and worse, in the ocean. At the same time, more than 100 million animals are being used and tested in food, drug, cosmetics, and chemical tests in the US alone. Imagine the changes it could make if we use these toothpaste bits that contain no harsh chemicals, the use of clean ingredients made in a cruelty-free laboratory. How Much Does It Cost? Subscription for $30. Save 38% 4-months supply of bits with 248 tablets in a recyclable glass jar. Refills will be sent every month after that. Free shipping. The Duo for $20 2 Bottles containing 62 tablets each Naturally Whitening Mint and Activated Charcoal Naturally Whitening and Fresh Mint for $12 One bottle containing 62 tablets. Shipping fees depend on the location, but approximately it would cost $3. While you’re saving the environment, why don’t you throw in 2 pcs of soft-bristled bamboo brushes with Moso bamboo handles and detachable heads? Don’t forget the two bottles of 30 meters of unflavored, plastic-free, vegan dental floss too. Each package costs $12 each. So there you go. You can contribute to saving our planet in the simplest way possible. By doing something, you have already been doing for as long as you can remember. Only now, instead of the regular toothpaste, use Bite Toothpaste Bits. Happy brushing!