There are tons of people out there that enlist the services of orthodontists and dentists, but many people think that they are the same thing. While this misconception is understandable, Dr. Nooshi Akavan of Akavan Orthodontics in Tarzana, CA wants patients to understand the differences between an orthodontist and a dentist.
In terms of education, dentists need to complete medical school and post-graduate training before they can begin seeing patients. For all intents and purposes, dentists are doctors but with a specialization in teeth. When speaking about the services they provide, dentists are generally involved in helping patients with general dental problems like decay, tartar buildup and gum disease. They’re in the practice of advocating oral hygiene when they see their patients, and will typically only see patients around twice a year, aside from fillings and other dental work for cavities and decay.
Then there are orthodontists like Dr. Akavan that are actually dentists, but they did an additional two years in a residency program for orthodontics specifically. They typically see patients for more severe dental issues, including alignment of the teeth and jaw. And dentists actually refer most of those patients to orthodontists. Orthodontists handle assessing all alignment issues, and then they can advise patients on procedures like braces. When a patient decides to move forward on braces, an orthodontist can help them select the best option, and then manage their care.
To recap, while they are both medical professionals that deal with teeth, dentists provide more general care, while orthodontists can provide specialized treatment for more serious alignment and cosmetic issues. They both work together in some facets, as part of a medical team to keep your teeth looking great, orthodontists have just worked hard to get specialized training and education, in order to provide you with access to different dental solutions like clear braces with Invisalign® and palette expanders. For the best orthodontic treatment in the Tarzana, CA area stop by Akavan Orthodontics, or contact Dr. Akavan TODAY at 818.345.9601.