Cosmetic dentistry is the type of dental care you need when you want to improve the look of your smile. Orthodontics, on the other hand, is a type of specialized dental care focused on improving the position of the teeth and jaw to overcome an inadequate bite. Both orthodontics and aesthetic dentistry work with your teeth to achieve a more aesthetic and pleasant smile. However, there may be some confusion about what exactly each branch of dentistry entails and the difference between them.
Orthodontists specialize in correcting dental irregularities, such as misaligned or crooked teeth, an insufficient bite or a crowded mouth. An aesthetic dentist, on the other hand, deals directly with teeth, aesthetics and the way they feel, as well as how teeth work in the mouth. Therefore, you can consult a cosmetic dentist for veneers to treat the problem of stained or golden teeth, for example. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the “cosmetic side” of the spectrum, limiting treatment to mainly superficial areas of the teeth.
Orthodontics takes a different approach. To understand a fundamental difference between dental care and orthodontics, you should know that not all dentists are orthodontists, but all orthodontists are dentists. General dentists are highly qualified professionals who care about the overall health, well-being and beauty of your smile. Orthodontists are dentists who have received additional education to specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of teeth and jaws that are out of position.
While cosmetic dentistry doesn't change the actual alignment of teeth, it can be used to address aesthetic and dental health needs. Both orthodontists and general dentists care for patients and assess their condition. They review medical records and talk to patients to determine their specific needs. Orthodontists have braces and other types of dental appliances built so that they can be inserted into the patient's mouth.
Cosmetic dentists perform a wide range of procedures including tasks such as repairing broken teeth and inserting dental implants. Orthodontists may see patients several times to adjust braces or modify braces as needed. Although both work with teeth, aesthetic dentists and orthodontists are not one in the same thing, each has specific skills to help patients get the smile they deserve and address the problems that have been plaguing them. For example, if a tooth was chipped or broken during an accident, a cosmetic dentist can repair the damage or use porcelain crowns to cover it. Orthodontists and aesthetic dentists may be involved in treating patients whose teeth need to be moved, but their goals are different. Cosmetic dentists must complete additional postgraduate training after earning a doctorate in dental surgery or dental medicine.
Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist, formerly from London's Harley Street Medical District, and now resides in St Agnes, Cornwall, where he offers dental services, dental education and medico-legal expertise. Whether you're looking for a comprehensive oral health dentist or one who can offer a wide range of cosmetic and orthodontic services, you'll find what you're looking for at Nirvana Dental. Both orthodontists and cosmetic dentists are specialists who can help you correct imperfections that prevent you from having the ideal appearance of your teeth. Individuals considering a career as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist may also be interested in other dental specialties. Seeing patients want to change their appearance and cosmetic dentists need to be compassionate and sensitive because their patients may be insecure because of their appearance. All other aesthetic ailments, such as color, tone, shape or even damage to the teeth, can only be fixed with a cosmetic procedure. Your dentist helps you provide all the preventive care you need for better oral health, as well as routine maintenance of your smile and the occasional cosmetic update.