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What Is The Difference Between General Dentistry and Orthodontics?

Unlocking the Key Differences: General Dentists vs Orthodontists – Choose the Right Oral Health Professional for Your Needs


Taking care of your teeth and maintaining your oral health is important. It not only ensures a beautiful smile but also helps in avoiding various dental problems. Two fields of dentistry are general dentistry and orthodontics. Both have their own unique roles in maintaining your oral health. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between general dentistry and orthodontics.

General Dentistry

General dentistry deals with the overall oral health of the patient. General dentists are responsible for diagnosing, preventing, and treating various dental problems. They also provide regular check-ups and cleanings to maintain the oral health of their patients.

General dentists provide a wide range of services including:

  1. Preventive Care – General dentists focus on preventive care to avoid dental problems such as cavities, gum diseases, and tooth decay. They provide regular check-ups and cleanings to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy.
  2. Restorative Care – General dentists provide restorative care to restore the function and appearance of damaged teeth. They use various techniques such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants to restore your teeth.
  3. Cosmetic Dentistry – General dentists also offer cosmetic dentistry services such as teeth whitening, veneers, and bonding. These procedures help to improve the appearance of your teeth and give you a beautiful smile.
  4. Emergency Care – General dentists also provide emergency care for dental problems such as toothaches, broken teeth, and infections.


Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that deals with the alignment of teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are specialists who have completed additional training beyond general dentistry to become experts in the alignment of teeth and jaws.

Orthodontists provide a wide range of services including:

  1. Braces – Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth. Braces consist of brackets, wires, and rubber bands that work together to gradually move teeth into their correct positions.
  2. 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners  –  3M™ Clarity™ is a clear aligner system that is an alternative to traditional braces. 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners aligners are made of clear plastic and are virtually invisible. They are removable and can be taken out for eating and brushing.
  3. Inbrace – Inbrace are custom braces placed on the inside of your teeth. They are the most aesthetic treatment available. Noone will know that you’re wearing braces while you’re achieving a beautiful smile.
  4. Retainers – Retainers are used after braces or clear aligner treatment to help maintain the alignment of teeth. They are custom-made for each patient and are worn for a specific period of time.
  5. Orthognathic Surgery – Orthognathic surgery is a surgical procedure used to correct jaw misalignment. It is usually performed in conjunction with braces or 3M™ Clarity™ Aligner treatment.

The Key Differences Between General Dentistry and Orthodontics

While both general dentists and orthodontists are concerned with maintaining oral health, there are some key differences between the two. The main difference is that general dentists focus on overall oral health while orthodontists specialize in the alignment of teeth and jaws.

General dentists provide a wide range of services to maintain oral health, including preventive care, restorative care, cosmetic dentistry, emergency care, and sometimes even Orthodontics. They are responsible for diagnosing and treating various dental problems and ensuring that their patients have healthy teeth and gums.

Orthodontists, on the other hand, specialize in the alignment of teeth and jaws. They provide services such as braces, clear aligners, Inbrace, retainers, and orthognathic surgery, to correct dental problems related to alignment. Orthodontists work to ensure that their patients have properly aligned teeth and jaws, which can improve both oral health and overall health.


In conclusion, general dentistry and orthodontics are both essential fields in maintaining oral health. General dentists focus on overall oral health, while orthodontists specialize in the alignment of teeth and jaws. Whether you need preventive care, restorative care, cosmetic dentistry, or orthodontic treatment, it is important to consult with a qualified dental professional. By working with a skilled dentist or orthodontist, you can ensure that you receive the best possible care for your oral health needs. 

Call our Hammond office at 985-542-8719. We’re open Monday through Friday, but we close at 1PM on Fridays. Ask us about common tooth alignment issues, such as how an orthodontist can help with crossbites. Take the time to achieve straight teeth and a healthy smile from the specialists at Maldonado Orthodontics today.


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