Orthodontists vs. Dentists

Here at Orthodontic Excellence, we are focused on giving our patients world-class orthodontic treatment, as well as answering all your questions. So here we go with the first one: what’s the difference between an orthodontist and a general dentist? A lot, we say.

What does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is a trained dentist who has then undertaken further postgraduate study and exams, usually over a minimum of a further seven years, to become recognised by the General Dental Council as a Registered Specialist in Orthodontics (an orthodontist for short).

For many orthodontists, it is the challenge of straightening a person’s teeth and moving their jaws into alignment which interests them.

Orthodontist vs Dentist

Orthodontists vs dentists

The table below identifies some key differences between orthodontists and dentists:

Qualifications & Memberships
Bachelor of Dental Surgery (5 years)
Master of Orthodontics (MOrth) (3 years)
Member of professional orthodontic bodies, eg. British Orthodontic Society
Treatments & Services
General 6-month check-up
Fillings & extractions
Cleaning & polishing
Advises on overall oral health of teeth and gums
Fitting of orthodontic appliances, such as braces & Invisalign aligners Some general dentists may fit braces and Invisalign but they are not specialists in orthodontics
Experience & training
Is specifically trained in the movement of teeth and bite issues
Recommends and treats patients after assessing overall facial profile
Uses the latest in orthodontic technology for the benefit of patients
Attends regular training on developments in the orthodontic industry
Is a member of The Invisible Orthodontist (TIO) Network Not all orthodontists are members of TIO but those who are demonstrate further commitment to promoting invisible orthodontic treatment.