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Dentist & orthodontist - what's the difference?

18 Aug 2023

1 min read


Dentists concentrate on the broad field of dentistry, focusing on the health of the teeth, gums and jaw.

Modern UK dentists can also potentially offer a number of cosmetic treatments including teeth whitening and veneers.

They can also legally offer some types of teeth straightening treatments after completing expert training courses.

What do orthodontists do?

Orthodontists specialise in treating irregularities in the teeth and jaws including crooked teeth, misplaced teeth and twisted teeth.

Their primary goal is to straighten a patient’s teeth and properly align them.

A dentist can only become a “specialist” orthodontist by undertaking further extensive training in the field of orthodontics.

How long does it take to become an orthodontist?

It usually takes five years to obtain a degree in dentistry after which a dentist gains experience in all fields of the profession.

The dentist must then apply for a place on an orthodontic training scheme.

Training takes a further three years of intensive study during which time they will gain extensive practical experience.

Trainees generally also study for a higher degree such as a Master of Clinical Dentistry in Orthodontics (MClinDent).

If they successfully pass the Membership in Orthodontics (MOrth) examination, they become a specialist orthodontist.

Book orthodontist appointment London

Contact us now to find out more or to book an appointment with our specialist orthodontist with General Dental Council “specialist status”.