Cherry Hill orthodontist near me

While both dentists and orthodontists play a fundamental role in maintaining oral health, their areas of expertise and the nature of the services they provide differ significantly. Understanding these distinctions can help you make informed decisions about which type of dental professional to visit for specific needs. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between orthodontists and dentists, highlighting the specialized skills of a Cherry Hill orthodontist and how they can help you achieve the perfect smile.

Education and Training: The Foundation of Differences

Both dentists and orthodontists start their careers with a similar foundational education: earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree. However, the paths diverge significantly after dental school. While a general dentist may begin practicing immediately after obtaining their degree and licensure, an orthodontist must undertake additional specialized training.


This postgraduate training typically lasts two to three years and focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating malocclusions (improper bites) and other facial irregularities. This intensive residency program equips orthodontists with the skills necessary to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

Specialization in Orthodontics

Orthodontists dedicate their practice solely to orthodontic care. They specialize in designing, applying, and controlling corrective appliances — such as braces or Invisalign — to align teeth, lips, and jaws to achieve facial balance. This specialization means that every day, orthodontists analyze spacing, crowding, and alignment issues in teeth of all ages. A skilled Cherry Hill orthodontist, for example, focuses exclusively on aligning teeth and optimizing bite function, enhancing both the aesthetic appearance and overall oral health of their patients.

General Dentistry: A Broad Scope of Care

In contrast, dentists cover a broad spectrum of oral health issues. They diagnose and treat problems related to the overall health of the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. Services provided by dentists include cavity fillings, root canals, gum care, crowns, veneers, bridges, and teeth whitening. While some dentists might offer basic orthodontic care, such as minor teeth straightening services, they do not possess the extensive training of an orthodontist in this field.

Tools and Techniques

The tools and technologies used by orthodontists are specifically designed for moving teeth and reshaping the jawline. These include traditional braces, clear ceramic braces, and clear aligners like Invisalign. Each of these tools requires precise manipulation that comes from specialized training.


Dentists, however, use a wide array of equipment designed for a variety of dental treatments, such as drills, scalpels, and x-ray machines. Their tools are intended for broad applications like cleaning, extracting, and repairing teeth, rather than focusing solely on alignment.

Frequency of Visits

Another distinction lies in the frequency and nature of patient visits. Orthodontic patients typically see their orthodontist regularly over a period that can last several years, depending on the complexity of their case and the treatment method. These visits are crucial for adjustments and to monitor progress.


Dental visits, on the other hand, are generally recommended twice a year for routine cleanings and check-ups. However, additional visits may be necessary if specific issues arise, such as tooth decay or a dental emergency.

Finding the Right Orthodontist Near Me

When searching for an “orthodontist near me,” it’s essential to consider their specialized training and whether it aligns with your needs or those of your family. For residents in or near Cherry Hill, choosing a qualified orthodontist ensures that you receive expert care tailored to improving not just the look of your smile but also its functionality. Orthodontists like those in our Cherry Hill practice not only provide personalized treatments but also build lasting relationships with patients, guiding them through long-term transformations.

Trust Your Smile to the Right Professionals

The differences between a dentist and an orthodontist are significant, primarily revolving around their scope of practice, the nature of their training, and the types of treatments they provide. While a dentist addresses a wide range of oral health issues, an orthodontist is the specialist you need for specific treatments like correcting misalignments and bite problems. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, ensure that you consult with a specialist who can provide the focused care necessary to achieve the best possible results. Choosing the right professional can make a substantial difference in your treatment experience and the final outcome of your smile.


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.