Orthodontists Specialize in Aligning Teeth

Thinking about Invisalign in Elmhurst or Forest Park, but you’ve got questions? We’re here to help!

What You Need To Know

Do I call a dentist or orthodontist?

When you’re ready for braces or Invisalign, this can be one of your first questions: Do I call my dentist or an orthodontist? Both dentists and orthodontists help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. In a nutshell, dentistry is a broad medical specialty, and orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth. One important difference is that all orthodontists like Dr. Bicknell and Dr. Manika are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Parents in Elmhurst and Forest Park ask us all the time, “What’s the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?” Both dentists and orthodontists help patients improve their oral health. They just do so in different ways! Basically, dentistry is a broad medical specialty that treats concerns with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw. Orthodontics is actually a specialty within dentistry. So while dentists treat all types of general dental issues, orthodontists focus exclusively on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of your teeth. One important distinction to keep in mind is that all orthodontists like Drs. Bicknell and Dr. Manika are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

So what does that mean?

What dentists and orthodontists have in common is that they both focus on oral care. Because orthodontists are also dentists with an additional specialty, an orthodontist can work in a dental office and provide the same care as a dentist. They are both considered doctors, and they both deal with issues surrounding the teeth and gums. 

But there are more differences than similarities. Similarly to a doctor obtaining additional schooling to become a surgeon, an orthodontist requires additional schooling as a dental specialty. Another difference is that orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite. They exclusively work with patients to fit them for corrective braces and devices. So if a patient has an overbite, a dentist will typically refer him or her to an orthodontist.

When do I call a dentist vs. orthodontist?

Dentists encourage good oral hygiene and provide services related to:

  • Cavities and tooth decay
  • Root canals
  • Crowns and veneers
  • Bridges
  • Gum disease
  • Teeth whitening

Orthodontists are dentists that specialize in the straightening teeth, and provide services related to:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

Getting Started With Invisalign

When you’re ready to straighten your smile or correct your bite, the next step is to connect with an orthodontist in your area that you trust. At Advanced Orthodontic Specialists, we offer free, no-obligation consultations — both online and in person. At your consultation, you’ll find out what the best treatment options are for you or your child, an estimate of how long it will take to complete your treatment, as well as the cost of braces and your financing options. We can’t wait to meet you!

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expectations, every single time.

Proudly Serving: Chicago, Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Villa Park, Addison, North Lake, Wood Dale, Bensenville, Forest Park, and the surrounding area.

Forest Park

1129 S. Harlem Avenue
Forest Park, IL 60130
708.366.7846

Hours:

Mon: 9 AM – 6 PM
Tues – Thurs: 8 AM – 5 PM
Fri: 9  AM – 5 PM

Elmhurst

275 N York St, Ste 200
Elmhurst, IL 60126
630.832.8320

Hours:

Mon: 9 AM – 6 PM
Tues – Thurs: 8 AM – 5 PM
Fri: 9  AM – 5 PM

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