Orthodontist vs Dentist

What's the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Orthodontists are dental specialists. We specialise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth, bites and jaws, including straightening teeth.

Did you know that orthodontists complete an additional three years of university training, on top of the normal dental degree?

Orthodontists and dentists share many things in common – both work to help you improve your overall oral health – but they actually work in very different ways: Dentists take care of your wider oral health; Orthodontics is a specialism within dentistry that focuses on straightening your teeth and making sure your bite is correct.


  • A general dentist looks after your mouth in a similar way to your GP looks after your body: they are skilled general practitioners who can diagnose and treat problems and common diseases that affect your teeth, mouth and gums.
  • Dentists complete a General Dental Degree.
  • They are experts in general dental care for all ages.
  • Most general dentists will refer patients requiring orthodontic treatment to specialist orthodontists.


  • Orthodontists are registered dental specialists who have completed an additional three years of full-time specialist University training in orthodontics (they hold a General Dental Degree + Specialist Orthodontic Degree).
  • Orthodontists are experts in dental development. They're especially trained to diagnose and treat crooked teeth, bad bites and poorly aligned jaws.
  • Orthodontists are specialists in delivering all orthodontic treatment options, whether for children or adults.

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