What is the Difference Between a Dentist and An Orthodontist?

A dentist is someone who looks after your mouth. There are many different types of dentists that like to either specialise in a particular field of dentistry or who are dedicated to a certain type of dentistry.

Dentists look after the health and foundation of your teeth and mouth.

A general dental practitioner is a dentist that looks after the overall health of the mouth.

They are knowledgeable about all areas of the mouth but not to the highest level as our specialists.

They are able to refer their patients to any specialist should the need arise.

This is especially done when advanced, more complicated treatment is required and the case is complex.

A cosmetic dentist is a general practitioner dentist who is dedicated and knowledgeable in the field of cosmetic dentistry.

An orthodontist can be a specialist or a dentist who only carries out teeth straightening treatments.

Committed to Orthodontics

Dentists qualify after a 5-year undergraduate course at university as a General Dental Practitioner.

If a general dental practitioner then decides that they are interested in a particular field of dentistry such as Orthodontics (Teeth Straightening) then they may choose to study and attend further courses.

These courses are varied and held by other specialists or highly experienced dentists.

It can often take years of expense, study and practice to become a highly skilled and experienced dentist with a commitment to a particular field of dentistry.

Dedication to Dentistry

It takes a huge amount of time, effort, skill and expense for a dentist to gain advanced knowledge in any particular branch of dentistry, be it in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics.

They can even branch off a particular field to become experienced and highly skilled in a small area of orthodontics.

For instance, many of the practitioners at the Perfect Smile Studios have dedicated themselves and all their learning to specific fields of teeth straightening orthodontics. See our cosmetic dentists.

This includes:

This level of expertise and intense vocation in a small field of a sub-part of dentistry allows for advanced knowledge to be accumulated. They also are more aware of the technological and innovative advancements in that unique part of dentistry.

Our dentists then work together in a team to produce the most optimal results for any particular patient.

Specialist Orthodontists

After gaining such experience and committing to a field of dentistry, the dentist may decide to gain a recognisable and reputable qualification by specialising in that field of dentistry.

A specialist orthodontist has re-clarified their position as the expert in this field of dentistry. After having attended a post-graduate course and a specialist qualification, they then move on to gain a position in the specialist register held at the General Dental Council.

Your mouth, our dedication to you

We are dedicated to providing the best dental care to produce the most optimal outcome for our patients. We make it our mission to remain at the forefront of dentistry in every field and in every way.

We aim to provide long-lasting dentistry in a cost-effective and comfortable manner. Therefore, we only employ the very best team of dentists, specialists, hygiene therapists, care nurses and patient coordinators. Meet our professional team.

Our philosophy and standards of care ensure the very best for our patients. Click here for our reviews.

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Fixed braces or clear, removable aligners An orthodontist is a fully qualified specialist who has first trained to become a regular dentist. Since there is now so much information out there, it can be increasingly difficult to choose the most appropriate dentist or best orthodontist for you.

We have compiled a list of our top 10 tips when choosing orthodontists that can deliver the right results, every time. Are they experienced and a specialist?


At the Perfect Smile Studios, our highly trained warm-hearted team are there to welcome you and ensure your every comfort.

We want to alleviate any anxieties and surpass your expectations at every level.

With practices in West London, Harley Street and Hertfordshire we cover all of London and the home counties including Essex.