Many people are nervous about getting any oral work done. Whether they have been putting it off for years or they begrudgingly prepare to go to their 6-month checkup, they may wish it was something they didn’t have to deal with. However, oral hygiene is incredibly important and many studies have linked good oral health to positive overall health. So, when it comes to keeping up with your mouth, who should you go see? Should you only ever go to your dentist or will there be times when you need help from an orthodontist? The truth is, it depends entirely on what kind of procedure you need to be done.
What are the main differences?
The main differences between a dentist and an orthodontist are that they will train for slightly different things. Your dentist will specialize in working on your gums, teeth, nerves, and your jaw. Your orthodontist focuses more on correcting certain issues, like bites, how your top and bottom teeth meet, alignment, and straightness. Unless you have reason to, you will not need to routinely see your orthodontist.
Your dentist, will focus on your overall oral health. They can help you with your more frequent visits, and issues like gum disease, root canals, or help when you need tooth extractions. An orthodontist, on the other hand, helps with more specific issues, such as your teeth being overcrowded or misaligned.
What if I need braces?
If you are concerned that your teeth are overcrowded, misaligned, or have large gaps, you should seek help from an orthodontist. Your dentist may have recommendations for orthodontists who can help with this.
What if I have pain in my teeth?
If you are experiencing oral pain, you should call your dentist right away. Your dentist will be able to give you an evaluation, determine what is causing the pain, and set up a treatment plan that can help you. It is crucial that you have visits with your dentist twice a year. Not only will they be able to fix any issues you are currently having with your teeth but they can help to prevent further issues. If they can catch a cavity early on, this could save you from a root canal later.
What if I have anxiety about dental work?
If you have anxiety surrounding dental work, you should speak with your dentist right away. Your dentist wants you to be as comfortable as possible during your visits and wants you to feel like you are leaving your appointments better off for going. Let your dentist know what your worries and fears are so that you can work on a treatment plan that best suits your lifestyle and makes you more comfortable. Not everyone will have the same dental treatments and when you are open with your dentist about what works for you, you can work together to tackle any dental problems that come your way. When you are ready to make your next appointment, call your local office.