Orthodontist vs. Dentist: Understanding the Key Differences and Which One to Visit in West Central Florida

When it comes to oral health, the distinctions between dental practitioners can often seem blurry, especially when it comes to dentists and orthodontists. It’s essential to understand the key differences, particularly when deciding who to consult for your specific oral health needs. So, let’s delve into the comparison – orthodontist vs. dentist.


A dentist, also referred to as a general dentist, is akin to a general physician for oral health. Dentists in West Central Florida broadly deal with a variety of dental issues like gums, teeth, nerves, and the jaw. Their primary focus is preventive care, conducting regular check-ups, professional cleanings, and detecting dental issues early on. General services include fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, veneers, gum care, and tooth extractions.


Orthodontists, on the other hand, are specialists in rectifying teeth and jaw alignment problems using non-surgical treatments. They are technically dentists who complete an additional two to three years of specialization training post dental school. Orthodontics in West Central Florida concentrates on diagnosing and treating malocclusions and misaligned teeth, often utilizing corrective appliances like braces, aligners (such as Invisalign), and retainers.

Key Differences

Although both can treat oral health issues, the main difference lies in their areas of speciality, while a dentist addresses overall oral health, an orthodontist is an expert in correcting alignment issues. It is paramount to visit a general dentist for regular check-ups, cleanings, and minor tooth irregularities. However, if there are problems with teeth alignment or jaw-related concerns, an orthodontist is the best fit.

In West Central Florida, like anywhere else, you will generally require a referral from your dentist to consult an orthodontist. However, the norms might vary, and it’s always a good idea to check the local healthcare guidelines.

When to Visit an Orthodontist

You would need an orthodontist if you have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, misaligned teeth, or issues with the growth and development of the jaw. Many children are typical patients due to the necessity of interceptive or preventive orthodontics. However, an increasing number of adults have been seeking their services to maintain aesthetically pleasing smiles and improved oral health.

How To Find The Best Orthodontist?

The best way to find an orthodontist is to search online. You can simply type something like “Orthodontist near me” into Google and the results will show you a list of orthodontists in your area. You can then visit the websites for each of them to find out more about their services, experience, and fees before making an appointment.

You can also ask your friends, family members, and co-workers who they would recommend if they needed orthodontic services.

Why Imagine Orthodontic Studio?

In West Central Florida, Imagine Orthodontic Studio stands out as one of the best, catering to its patients’ orthodontic needs with a professional and personalized approach. The clinic consists of board-certified orthodontists, using the latest technology to offer advanced treatment modalities. They prioritize patient comfort, ensuring the best possible results for each patient.

In Conclusion

Understanding the differences between a dentist and orthodontist can help you seek the right treatment when required. Remember, maintaining optimal oral health comprises both regular dental check-ups and, when necessary, seeking specialized help to correct alignment issues. So, pick your oral health provider wisely and keep smiling.