Do You Need To See A Dentist Or Orthodontist For Your Teeth?

Do You Need To See A Dentist Or Orthodontist For Your Teeth?

Dentists and orthodontists both help ensure the health of your teeth – but how do you know which one you need the services of?

For starters all orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are orthodontists! The main difference between the two is similar to that of General Practitioners and specialists. Like GPs dentists are qualified to treat a wide range of common and emergency dental issues, whereas orthodontists focus on correcting misaligned teeth and jaws.

Here are some other key differences that will determine if you should see a dentist or orthodontist:

1. Qualifications required

In Singapore, all dentists must hold a dental degree from a dentistry school approved by the Singapore Dental Council (SDC).

On the other hand, orthodontists initially practice as dentists before undergoing a 3-year full-time postgraduate course focusing solely on orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners. They then have to undergo an additional accreditation to receive this title as well as register this change on the SDC website.

2. Services provided

Dentists will typically provide these basic services:

  • Take and interpret x-rays
  • Check teeth and fill cavities
  • Treat gum disease such as gingivitis
  • Install crowns for damaged teeth
  • Implant false teeth
  • Give advice on oral health and hygiene
  • Prescribe drugs for the treatment of oral conditions
  • Provide emergency dental services

Orthodontists are trained to provide these services as well but the bulk of their work deals in orthodontic treatments such as:

  • Diagnosing and treating misaligned teeth and jaws (e.g. overbite, underbite)
  • Installing braces or clear aligners
  • Performing dental surgery to correct jaw and dental problems

Dentists, orthodontists, and dental surgeons may often work together on complex cases or to manage all aspects of a patient’s dental health. 

Here at FDC our clinic staff includes both experienced dentists and highly skilled orthodontists – allowing us to address any dental or oral health issues you may experience. Our team is also able to provide you with feedback on common questions such as whether you should get braces or clear aligners, and what you need to know about dental braces for teens.

So do you need to see a dentist or orthodontist?

Common dental emergencies such as tooth pain, tooth decay, tooth repair, or gum disease can all be treated by a dentist. Many dentists can also perform simple orthodontic treatments. However if you are experiencing complex issues, you can choose to see an orthodontist directly or visit a dentist who will be able to recommend you to a specialist as needed.

Family Dental Centre’s orthodontists are able to treat a wide variety of conditions including spacing, crossbite, overjet, crowding, and other forms of teeth and jaw misalignments. Our team includes Dr. Jennie Shue Yoke-Shien and Dr. Tang Panmei – two orthodontists who have decades of experience in orthodontics between them.

In addition to orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners, both Dr Shue and Dr Tang are able to provide child dentistry services, dental implants, oral health checks, tele-consult, and emergency services.

Whether you’re looking to get metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign invisible braces, our dental clinic is able to address any dental health concerns on your mind. Our orthodontists will be with you every step of the way from pre-procedure assessments to regular check-ups and more. Book your appointment with us today at any of our 18 dental clinics in Singapore.

If you are still unsure if to make an appointment with our dentists or orthodontists, our dental teleconsult service is available for you to get more information from our friendly team.