Blog Post

The Difference Between an Orthodontist and Dentist
Posted on 08/15/2017

The Difference Between an Orthodontist and Dentist

Many people are confused over what the difference is between an orthodontist and a dentist because after all, both of these oral health care professionals help patients improve their smiles.  If you’re unsure of how an orthodontist differs from a dentist, the friendly team at Lunsford Orthodontics is here to help you sort it all out!


All Orthodontists Are Dentists, But Not All Dentists Are Orthodontists


One important difference between orthodontists and dentists is the fact that all orthodontists like our own Dr. Lunsford are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists. What this means is that general dentists successfully earn their DDS or DMD degrees from dental schools where they’ve learned how to treat the teeth, gums and mouth so they can provide their patients with many dental services like:

  • Preventative dental care
  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Bridges, crowns and dentures
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Veneers and teeth whitening

While your family dentist is educated and qualified to provide you with the above dental services, only a licensed orthodontist has the education, expertise, and experience needed to provide you with the orthodontic treatment you need to fix your misaligned teeth or jaw.


Orthodontists Undergo More Education Than Dentists


Once completing dental school and undergoing the additional education required to become certified in the dental specialty of orthodontics, an orthodontist helps his or her patients with the alignment of their teeth by using orthodontic appliances like braces and Invisalign aligners. Orthodontists also specialize in treating malocclusions or “bad bites.” Some of the most common problems orthodontists work to correct include:

  • Misaligned or crooked teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Overcrowding of teeth
  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)

Meet-Dr-L-2.jpgWhy You Should Choose an Orthodontist for Braces or Invisalign


Just as you would choose a surgeon to provide you with a surgical procedure you need and not a general doctor, you should always choose an orthodontist to provide you with the orthodontic treatment you need.

Unfortunately, many people who have not gotten braces or Invisalign from an orthodontist have ended up needing to see orthodontists later in life for treatment. To avoid this frustrating and costly mistake from happening to you, be sure to choose an orthodontist who is an expert in tooth movement and jaw function!


Book an Appointment With Our West Palm Beach Orthodontist Today


Dr. Lunsford has a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Orthodontics which he earned at the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He is a highly regarded orthodontist who provides exceptional treatment to patients of all ages living in West Palm Beach, Wellington, and the Boynton Beach areas of Florida. He’s helped thousands of patients achieve incredible smiles and he can help you too! To set up your first visit with Dr. Lunsford, simply request an appointment today! We look forward to seeing you soon and providing you with the excellent orthodontic care you deserve!