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Orthodontics and General Dentistry: Distinctions, Therapies, and Benefits

While orthodontics and general dentistry are concerned with dental care, they differ significantly. In contrast to general dentistry, orthodontics identifies and treats dental and facial irregularities.

This article compares and contrasts orthodontics and general dentistry. It describes each category’s standard treatments and procedures and the cost and length of orthodontic treatment. Thus, you can make informed decisions regarding your dental care requirements and attain a healthier smile.

How Does Orthodontics Differ from General Dentistry?


Orthodontics is a subspecialty of dentistry that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. In contrast to general dentistry, which focuses on the patient’s oral health, orthodontics is concerned with the alignment and function of the teeth and jaws.

When there are issues with the alignment of the teeth and jaws, which can lead to various dental and health problems, orthodontic treatment is required. These include trouble speaking and chewing, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and jaw pain. By straightening the teeth, improving the bite, and creating a more attractive smile, orthodontic treatment can help to correct these issues.

The orthodontic treatments offered for correcting dental and facial irregularities are as follows:

  • Traditional Braces
  • Clear Braces
  • Lingual Braces
  • Self-Ligating Braces
  • Invisalign
  • Retainers
  • Palatal Expander
  • Headgear

The type of treatment the orthodontist recommends will depend on the patient’s unique requirements and the severity of their dental and facial irregularities. These conditions may result from genetics, tooth decay, trauma, or other factors. 

General Dentistry

General dentistry encompasses a variety of procedures and treatments that target patients’ overall oral health. They treat tooth decay, replace missing teeth, and restore damaged teeth. All of these procedures are intended to improve the patient’s oral health.

Here are some of the most prevalent treatments included in this category:

  • Dental Cleanings and Exams
  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Gum Disease Treatment
  • Oral Cancer Screenings
  • Dental Sealants
  • Dentures
  • Fillings
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures 
  • Root canals
  • Crowns
  • Bridges

You can check this website if you’re interested in getting this treatment.

Emergency Dental Service

Emergency dental services provide prompt and effective treatment for patients experiencing severe dental problems or trauma outside of regular office hours. These services are staffed by general dentists and other dental professionals who have the necessary training and expertise to diagnose and treat dental emergencies. You can check this page for more details.

How to Determine if a Dentist Is Skilled in Orthodontics?

Dentists can provide some orthodontic treatments, but only orthodontists have the specialized training and education to diagnose and treat dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists obtain an additional two to three years of training in orthodontics following dental school and are recognized by the American Dental Association as orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics specialists.

Orthodontists have a higher level of specialized training and experience than general dentists. An orthodontist should treat complex orthodontic cases to achieve the best possible outcome.

What Is the Cost of These Treatments?

Orthodontic treatment duration varies depending on the treatment type, the dental issue’s severity, and the dental office’s location. Invisalign costs between $3,000 and $8,000, while traditional braces cost between $2,500 and $7,000. This is only a rough estimate, which could be lower or higher. Always consult your dentist for a more precise estimate.

Additionally, it is important to note that insurance may cover a portion of your orthodontic treatment expenses. Call your insurance provider ahead of time to determine if you are covered. Additionally, many dental clinics offer weekly or monthly payment options that are flexible and convenient.

How Long Will Treatments Continue?

Different factors affect how long orthodontic treatment takes and is based on the chosen treatment and the severity of the dental issue. Generally, traditional braces take 18 months and three years to complete, whereas Invisalign takes 6 months and two years. Before beginning the procedure, patients should discuss the duration of treatment with their orthodontist.


Orthodontic treatment can significantly enhance your smile’s appearance, functionality, and overall health. There is a solution for every patient’s needs with various treatment options. Complex cases should be treated by a certified orthodontist for the best possible outcome, as they have the necessary training and experience. The cost and length of treatment may vary, but the benefits of a straighter, healthier smile are immeasurable.

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