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Dentist vs. Orthodontist: Why They Are Both Important

Orthodontists and dentists may differ in services, but they are both equally important. Dr. Michael Payne is an expert orthodontist in Sacramento CA and alongside the team at American River Othodontics, he provides orthodontic treatment to people of all ages with conditions that vary in severity. However, we recognize the importance of continuing to see your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and check-ups.

Dentists vs. Orthodontists: Similarities

A dentist and an orthodontist begin their careers in much the same way. They both must attend dental school after graduating from a bachelor’s degree program. After completing dental school, a future orthodontist will need to complete a two to three year residency at an American Dental Association approved, university-affiliated program. A dentist, however, will be awarded a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry), depending on what they choose to specialize in.

Dentists vs. Orthodontists: Differences

Think of a dentist as the primary care physician for your teeth. They perform routine maintenance and ensure that, overall, your mouth remains healthy. Some dentist-specific procedures include:

  • Cleanings
  • Whitenings
  • Root Canals
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Bridges

An orthodontist in Sacramento CA like Dr. Payne however, is a specialist. If a dentist cannot assist you in correcting a dental condition, they will, oftentimes, refer you to an orthodontist. Orthodontic offices like American River Orthodontics focus on the alignment of your teeth and malocclusions. A malocclusion is an issue concerning your ‘bite’ and typically refers to one of the following:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Severe Overcrowding
  • Tooth Gaps

The most common form of orthodontic treatment is braces. Braces can help address a number of the aforementioned conditions, but can only be installed by an orthodontist.

Dr. Payne and the team at American River Orthodontics understand the importance of maintaining a healthy dental routine while receiving orthodontic treatment. Braces, especially, can make maintaining dental hygiene particularly difficult and result in cavities or worse. Be sure to heed the advice of Dr. Payne and the team at American River Orthodontics in Sacramento CA for optimal dental health and regularly visit the dentist and the orthodontist!

“What a great experience. I was worried because my daughter was nervous. The person that worked with her made everything fun and exciting!”
– Maria Van Laningham

Contact us for a COMPLIMENTARY consultation!
(916)486–4233


Dr. Payne is an expert orthodontist in Sacramento CA. If you have any questions for the team at American River Orthodontics pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces, and clear braces in Sacramento, CA, Arden-Arcade, CA, Rancho Cordova, CA, or the 95661 zip code area, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Payne, contact American River Orthodontics at: (916) 486 – 4233