Dentist or Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has completed at least three additional full-time years of training after their general dental degree. In Australia, a dental specialist must have also practiced as a general dentist for some time before completing their specialisation. They must then apply to AHPRA for registration as a specialist in orthodontics. There are around 20 graduates in orthodontics in Australia every year – this is a highly specialised field!

When to see an orthodontist about your smile:

  1. For teeth straightening – talk to the experts
  2. For issues with jaw alignment – whether it be as a result of crooked teeth or an accident.

When to see a general dentist:

  1. Oral health care – even when undergoing orthodontic treatment, you should visit a general dentist every six months to maintain good oral health.
  2. Teeth whitening after orthodontic treatment
  3. Fillings and extractions – your orthodontist may send you back to your general dentist if you need extractions or a filling before treatment. 
  4. All normal general dental needs as advised by your health care professional.