The difference between dentists and orthodontists. All orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists

What’s the difference between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

With many general dentists now offering orthodontic treatment, it can be confusing to know who you should see to enhance your smile. We can help you understand the difference between Dentists and Orthodontists, and the best person to see for your orthodontic treatment.


What do Dentists do?

General Dentists look after your dental health ensuring that teeth are clean and cavity free, and gums are healthy. When undertaking orthodontic treatment, it is always recommended that appointments with a General Dentist continue at six to twelve months intervals. Your General Dentist is best able to look after your general dental health, with expertise treating problems that affect your teeth, mouth and gums.

What do Orthodontists do?

Orthodontics is a speciality in dentistry just like Cardiology is a speciality in medicine. Orthodontists are experts in facial growth, dental development and diagnosing and treating crooked teeth, bad bites and aligned jaws.

Every Specialist Orthodontist has graduated and practiced as a general dentist. To be able to practice as a Specialist Orthodontist, a General Dentist must complete a further two to three years (5,000 hours) of full-time university training.

A Specialist Orthodontist uses the latest evidence-based science to accurately diagnose and treat your teeth and jaw alignment problems. A Specialist Orthodontist is best qualified to:

  • Create a more beautiful smile by correcting cosmetic problems.
  • Treat bad bites that can damage teeth, gums and jaws.
  • Correct protruding or misaligned teeth that often chip or break.
  • Develop treatment plans to fix speech or chewing difficulties.
  • Help in the management of sleep breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea.
What’s the difference between the cost of Dentists and Orthodontists?

In terms of treatment cost, it’s typically assumed that treatment by a Specialist Orthodontist will cost more than treatment by a General Dentist. Although the cost of treatment varies from practice to practice, whether it be a general dental or specialist practice. However, Specialist Orthodontists offer affordable treatment that you can pay off over the course of treatment using interest free payment plans. At Toowong Orthodontics we are able to offer orthodontic treatment for less than $75 a week!

Should you see a Dentist or an Orthodontist?

Both Dentists and Orthodontists work to improve your oral health and your smile in very different ways. A Dentist is the best person to see for your oral hygiene needs and regular check-up appointments every 6-12 months. Although you do not require a referral from a Dentist to see an Orthodontist, it’s important to see your Dentist to ensure you have good oral health prior to seeing an orthodontist. A Specialist Orthodontist is best to see when you require treatment to achieve a straighter, whiter smile and correctly aligned jaws. They provide specialist expertise and treatments that will give you life-long smiling confidence.


At Toowong Orthodontics, we go beyond the cosmetic, taking the time to get to know you and develop tailored treatments using the latest techniques and technologies. We want every patient to smile out loud. Find out more about us and what we offer, here.