When it comes to the care of your teeth, receiving treatment from the appropriate professional is vital. That is why it’s important to know the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist and when you should seek the services of each.


Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses specifically on straightening teeth and ensuring your jaws are correctly aligned. Both are important to ensure your mouth functions properly when eating and chewing. If your teeth are crooked or your jaws are misaligned this can cause an inability to bite into food and chew properly due to the teeth not meeting correctly or not meeting at all in some cases.

An orthodontist is a trained dentist who has embarked on further postgraduate study to specialise in the field of orthodontics. This usually takes a further three years of study. Orthodontists who are recognised providers of Invisalign will have completed certification in this orthodontic treatment and be qualified to fit you with this appliance.

Orthodontist Dentist
Qualifications & Memberships
Bachelor of Dentistry (5 years) Yes Yes
Master of Orthodontics (MOrth) (3 years) Yes
General Dental Council Registered Specialist in Orthodontics Yes
Membership of professional orthodontic bodies, eg. British Orthodontic Society Yes
Treatments & Services
General 6-month check up Yes
Fillings & extractions Yes
Cleaning & polishing Yes
Advises on overall oral health of teeth and gums Yes Yes
Fitting of orthodontic appliances, such as braces & Invisalign aligners Yes Some
Experience & Training
Is specifically trained in the movement of teeth and bite issues Yes
Recommends and treats patients after assessing overall facial profile Yes Yes
Uses the latest in orthodontic technology for the benefit of patients Yes Yes
Attends regular training on developments in the orthodontic industry Yes
Dentist vs Orthodontist | Smyli Orthodontics