An Orthodontist is a fully trained Dentist who has had further years of training to specialise in Orthodontics. An Orthodontist just focuses on orthodontic work, so they’re experts in knowing how best to straighten and move your teeth, and can advise you on the best orthodontic treatment for you and your smile.
What training does an Orthodontist have?
Orthodontics is specialist, skilled work and to become a qualified Orthodontist in the UK takes years of training and clinical experience.
Orthodontists start by studying five years at Dental School to qualify as a Dentist. They then have three to four years of further training posts and exams to pass the post-graduate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons. And after that, they have to be accepted on a three-year full-time Specialist Orthodontic training programme to learn the skills to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics) and study the science behind it.
This advanced education and in-depth experience means Orthodontists are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orthodontic problems.
Orthodontists also have extensive knowledge of using appliances such as braces, clear aligner trays and retainers, so they can recommend the best kind of appliance to meet every individual patient’s treatment needs – creating beautiful and healthy smiles for children, teens and adults.
Dentist or Orthodontist?
Your Dentist and Orthodontist are both highly trained oral healthcare experts, but they concentrate on different aspects of your dental health. For regular dental check-ups and teeth cleaning, and if you need fillings, teeth out or such like, your Dentist is the expert to go to. Whereas for teeth straightening, jaw alignment and orthodontic advice, your Orthodontist has the specialist knowledge and experience you want.
You could think of it like the difference between your family doctor and a medical specialist. You’d go to your family doctor for all routine check-ups and worries, but you’d want to see a specialist cardiologist if you had heart problems.
Together, your Orthodontist and Dentist can offer you a complete dental health service, and at Beam we work closely with our referring Dentists to ensure you have a co-ordinated treatment plan and approach.