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What Is the Difference Between an Orthodontist Instead of a Dentist for Orthodontic Treatments

Apr 18, 2024

Hi, I’m Dr Mike, the principal orthodontist here at Allstar Orthodontics here in Brisbane Fortitude Valley and Albany Creek.

Over the weekend, I caught up with my relatives and my curious nephew Sam asked me a good question. He said to me, “Uncle Mike, what’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? Why would I get my teeth straightened with an orthodontist instead of a dentist?”.

And I realise, it’s actually quite a common question, so I thought I’ll make a video sharing with you what I told him, just in case you are wondering the same thing…

An orthodontist has done three years additional full-time study on top of their five years to become an orthodontist. And these additional three years are spent studying solely orthodontics. An orthodontist is also a member of professional orthodontic bodies, such as the Australian Association of Orthodontists, and also can become an Australian orthodontic board certified orthodontist.

So what are the benefits to patients?

What Is the Difference Between an Orthodontist Instead of a Dentist for Orthodontic Treatments

An orthodontist has got experience and knowledge in the fitting of orthodontic appliances, such as braces and clear aligners. They’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience in diagnosing and assessing problems and being able to formulate treatment plans to provide the best result, since this is the only thing we do, day in and day out.

So therefore it is safer for the patient. They’re in the hands of someone that has expertise in the field of orthodontics, and these orthodontists have regular training in developing and further education in their field. They can also be members of professional orthodontic groups, so that they’re able to discuss and share ideas about orthodontic treatments.

All the treatment done by an orthodontist is within that field of specialty. So they become very proficient at what they do.

Compared to a dentist where it could be only one of the many things they do, which means they’re doing less orthodontic treatments. So the difference is going to a specialist vs a generalist.


Also, as orthodontists, we get access and knowledge of the latest orthodontic technologies, exclusively available to specialist orthodontists only, this in turn benefits our patients.

So if you’re considering straightening your teeth, we recommend you get a specialist opinion to make sure all your options are covered and give yourself the best chance for a great result.

If you live or work in Brisbane, we would love to look after you. We are conveniently located in both Fortitude Valley and Albany Creek. Simply give us a call, complete the enquiry form on the website, or send us a direct message on social media, and we will help you organise an appointment that is closest to you. See you in the next video!