When to See an Orthodontist vs. a Dentist
In some cases, there might be overlap in the services each professional may offer. In some states, dentists are permitted to provide some orthodontic treatments, such as braces, in addition to their general dental services, notes the AAO. However, orthodontists usually only offer treatments that fall within their dental specialty. While you may see dentists advertising orthodontic treatments, only a dental professional who has undergone the proper training can be called an orthodontist.
So, if you need dental treatment, should you call an orthodontist or a dentist? If you have a toothache or suspect you might have developed a cavity, see your general dentist for a diagnosis. If you've been given an orthodontic appliance and it needs repair, your orthodontist will be able to help.
You may only see your orthodontist for the duration of your orthodontic treatment, but you'll visit a trusted general dentist for a lifetime. They will check the health of your teeth, gums and the interior of your mouth and recommend a specialist when necessary. And if you ever need treatment for crooked teeth or a problem that affects your bite, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.