Is an Orthodontist Higher Than a Dentist?

Is an Orthodontist Higher Than a Dentist?

When it comes to oral care, it's important to understand the roles of different dental professionals. Among the most commonly confused are orthodontists and dentists. While both play crucial roles in maintaining oral health, they have distinct areas of expertise. In this article from John S Walker DMD, your Boulder orthodontist, we will explore the key differences between orthodontists and dentists, shedding light on the question: is an orthodontist higher than a dentist?

orthodontist working with boy

Specialized Focus

Orthodontists specialize in the alignment and correction of teeth and jaws. They undergo additional training after completing dental school to earn a specialization in orthodontics. On the other hand, dentists are general practitioners who provide a wide range of dental services, such as cleanings, fillings, and routine check-ups.

orthodontist fitting Invisalign

Treatment Expertise

Orthodontists primarily treat malocclusions, crowded or crooked teeth, and jaw alignment issues. Through techniques like braces, aligners, and other corrective appliances, they straighten teeth, improve bites, and enhance smiles. Dentists, meanwhile, focus on preventive care, restorative treatments, gum health, and other general oral health maintenance.

orthodontist consulting with woman

Education and Credentials

To become an orthodontist, dental professionals must complete an additional two to three years of full-time residency training in orthodontics. They then acquire certification from the American Board of Orthodontics. On the contrary, dentists obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree after four years of dental school.

orthodontist using tablet


Orthodontists and dentists often work together to ensure comprehensive dental care. Dentists refer patients to orthodontists when specialized treatment is required, but they continue to oversee general oral health. The collaborative effort between these professionals guarantees optimal dental care for patients.

Trust John S Walker DMD as Your Boulder Orthodontist

While both orthodontists and dentists are essential for maintaining good oral health, they have different areas of expertise. Orthodontists specialize in correcting misalignments and improving bites, whereas dentists focus on overall oral health.

If you require orthodontic treatment, look no further than John S Walker DMD, your trusted Boulder orthodontist. We will provide personalized care to enhance your smile and overall dental well-being. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and take the first step toward achieving a beautiful, healthy smile.

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