Are Orthodontists Dentists? And Other Dental Questions Answered

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Because orthodontists do attend dental school, some people assume that orthodontists are also dentists. Some others assume that dentists are just orthodontists who have decided to skip the orthodontic work and focus on dentistry. These are all some interesting misconceptions, and there are other misconceptions between these two oral hygiene careers. Here are your other unusual misconceptions and other dental questions corrected and answered.

Do Orthodontists or Dentists Do Complex Cosmetic Dental Work?

Dentists do not typically perform cosmetic dental work that involves in-depth surgery of some kind (e.g., implants). They may have the additional training and licensing necessary to do simpler procedures such as veneers or bleaching, but not every dentist does this. Additionally, cosmetic procedures done by an orthodontist are typically limited to braces and oral orthotic appliances to correct the straightness of your teeth and/or your bite alignment. What you may really want (or need) is an oral surgeon, who can remove teeth with deep roots, treat deep infections through surgical means and complete complex oral and cosmetic procedures such as an entire mouthful of dental implants.

If You Visit an Orthodontist for Dental Work, Can You Get a Cheaper Price on Services?

Although you can certainly visit an orthodontist for standard dental work (some orthodontists do provide these services), you should not expect a discount in prices if you are not getting orthodontia. Also, dentists and orthodontists have various pay grades and charge very differently for the same services across the board. If, for whatever reason, you want an orthodontist to do your basic dental work, but you want the going rate a regular dentist would charge, you can either A) find an inexpensive orthodontist, or B) go to a dentist instead. Likewise, if a dentist is licensed to do orthodontia, you should not expect cheaper rates on your braces because a dentist will charge whatever he or she currently charges for such services.

Why Is It That Dentists and Orthodontists Do Not Work on Weekends?

More often than not, it is a professional choice to operate a dental or orthodontic practice on the weekends as well as during the week. However, there are some larger dental and orthodontic practices that keep weekend hours for patients who cannot make it in during the week, or they offer twelve- to fourteen hour days during the week so that patients can make early morning or late evening appointments. Usually, it comes down to cost; the cost of electricity, the cost of heat, the cost of extra office staff on the weekends and the cost of another dentist or orthodontist in the practice who can work rotational shifts with the primary staff and professionals. If you need a before-hours, an after-hours or a weekend dentist or orthodontist, consider switching to a larger practice where these services are available. To find out more, visit a website like