Many people don’t understand what an orthodontist is, what they do and how they differ from a regular dentist. Orthodontists are dental specialists and deal with a very different area of dentistry that requires special training. They specialise in the treatment of dental and facial irregularities to help correctly align teeth, bites and jaws, and this includes straightening teeth.

What’s the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

Although dentists and orthodontists work together to improve your overall dental health, they actually work in quite different ways. While dentists are concerned with your overarching oral health, orthodontists specialise within the dentistry field, focusing on fixing misaligned teeth and improper bite patterns.

Both are professionals set about improving your dental health but it’s important to be aware of a few key differences between them when seeking treatment.


  • Skilled in general dentistry to diagnose and treat problems and common diseases of the teeth, mouth and gums.
  • Experts in general dental care and maintenance, such as filling, professional cleaning and fixing broken teeth.
  • General dental care for all ages.
  • They are not trained in orthodontic treatment and most will refer patients to specialist orthodontists for extra treatment.


  • Orthodontists are registered dental specialists who have completed an additional training in orthodontics
  • They are facial growth and dental development experts. They diagnose and treat oral imperfections such as; crooked teeth, bad bites and poorly aligned jaws.
  • Orthodontists deliver orthodontic treatment options for all ages.

For dental irregularities such as misaligned teeth, bites or jaws then an orthodontist is the specialist you need. Straightening teeth using braces is one key area of expert treatment that orthodontists provide and shouldn’t be dealt with by a regular general dentist unless properly qualified.

Let Orthodontics Australia explain what an Orthodontist is.

[source: Orthodontics Australia]

How do I know when to see an orthodontist?

Your regular dentist will often refer you to a specialist if they notice imperfections in the growth of your teeth or bite structure. Although most times a recommendation is not needed, your dentist is the best indicator as to when’s a good time to visit an orthodontist.

Choosing the right Orthodontist in Perth.

As mentioned before, no referral is necessary to visit an orthodontist; however, your trustworthy family dentist may recommend a particular orthodontist in your area. This will allow both your regular dentist and orthodontist to work in tandem to better effectively ensure you receive the best care. When finding an orthodontist make sure they are a registered specialist orthodontist, with all the correct qualifications and are a member of professional bodies, such as the Australian Society of Orthodontists.

Meet the doctor behind Solas Orthodontics.