Can Dentists Provide Orthodontic Treatment?

At first, understanding the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist might be a little confusing. After all, they both work on teeth. Why can’t a dentist provide the same treatments as an orthodontist?

The truth is that dentistry and orthodontics have many significant differences that separate their expertise. Let’s look a little more into why it’s best for orthodontists to focus on orthodontic care and why dentists should focus on dental care.

Vinson Orthodontics has the experience to provide the treatment you need. With a number of orthodontic treatments available, Vinson Orthodontics can help you on your way to having a confident, natural smile. 

Get a complimentary exam or call us at 919-359-1904 to learn more about what orthodontists do. 

Mom and daughter with braces embracing on a cream couch.

Orthodontists Receive More Training

It’s no secret that orthodontists and dentists receive several years of training and education before they start practicing. Both have to go through college and dental school, in addition to getting priceless on-the-job training.


Orthodontists, however, have to receive even more education than general dentists. After finishing dental school, aspiring orthodontists will commit an additional 2-3 years to orthodontic residency. During their orthodontic residency, they typically acquire thousands of hours of training and experience before they are allowed to practice full-time as an orthodontist. 

Orthodontists Provide Specialized Treatment

Whereas dentists focus on more general issues with your teeth, orthodontists focus on the science of perfecting the alignment of your teeth and jaw. This means that orthodontists have a more specialized knowledge base than dentists. An orthodontist is much more qualified and experienced in solving issues related to their specific area of expertise.

When you need a procedure related to your teeth and jaw alignment, it makes sense to go to a specialist in that area. If you don’t, you may risk the procedure being done incorrectly or having an inadequate amount of treatment performed.

Girl smiling and looking up in front of some plants and a building on a sunny day.

How to Get Straight Teeth vs. How to Get Clean Teeth

The main difference between orthodontists and dentists can be broken down into this simple idea: straight teeth vs. clean teeth. While both orthodontists and dentists do more than clean and straighten teeth, these services are a big part of their practices. You can get a good idea of whether you need an orthodontist or a dentist if you ask yourself, “do I need my teeth straightened or cleaned?”

If you need your teeth straightened or your jaw aligned, and you’re wondering how to get braces or how to get invisalign, it makes sense to go to a practitioner who specializes in this treatment instead of seeking treatment from a dentist who may not have the same depth of experience. At the same time, if you’re looking for clean teeth, it may not make sense to seek a teeth-straightening specialist. 

Need an Orthodontist in Wake Forest or Clayton? Schedule a Consultation With Vinson Orthodontics

Vinson Orthodontics has a history of providing quality care to help patients achieve a beautiful, natural smile. Whether you need Invisalign or braces, if you’re in the Wake Forest or Clayton area, Vinson Orthodontics can work with you to find the best course of treatment.

Call 919-359-1904 or schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more!