Orthodontists and Dentists…There Is A Difference

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone knows a dentist takes care of teeth, but, not everyone is aware of what exactly an orthodontist does. This confusion can sometimes lead to misunderstandings about what Horner Barrow Orthodontics does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Today, we’re going clear up a few of the common myths and misconceptions about orthodontists.

Perhaps the biggest myth or misconception about the orthodontist is that they’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, they’re actually quite different. It’s certainly true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, but orthodontists go about achieving this goal in different ways. As an example, if you need to have a cavity filled, you most likely wouldn’t make an appointment to see an orthodontist. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. A dentist can also treat periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People make an appointment with an orthodontist for very specific services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they, a) have braces, or b) they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device.  Simply stated, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. As a child begins to grow, his or her teeth may come in crooked. This can happen for any number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any issues that have not become too advanced to easily address and treat. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once their adult teeth have fully erupted.

Another common myth or misconception about orthodontists is that they only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic practice, you’re more likely to see a lot of young children, but you’ll also see teens, college students, and adults. Because misaligned (or crooked) teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s quite possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.

If you would like to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what an orthodontist can do for you, then simply ask to speak with Dr. Kevin Horner. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the professional who will be treating you. There really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our Sioux Falls, SD office.

Thank you for placing your trust and your smile in us at Horner Barrow Orthodontics. We truly appreciate it!